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Talent on show at Rāwene students’ applied arts exhibitions

Breadth and depth of talent on show at Rāwene students’ applied arts exhibitions

Gouache on paper, carving, jewellery, and ceramics are just a few of the media that students on the Diploma of Applied Arts programme in Rāwene are using to showcase their learning in their end of year exhibitions.

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The exhibition of first year Diploma and Certificate students’ work at the Rāwene campus ended yesterday (subs 24 November). Certificate student Pepi Hemara (Ngāpuhi) exhibited a series of gouache on paper works. Her work focuses on maunga (mountains) and wai (water) and incorporates archways in response to the challenge by their tutor the class to learn about and incorporate religious symbolism in their work as part of one of their assignments.

Pepi has loved her first year on the programme and is already looking forward to coming back next year for her diploma-level studies. “The more I read the more I understand about the depth of colours. I’ve learned how to make the mountain talk through the depth of colours in my work. I found it really hard to learn but I love it now I know it!”

Juggling the demands of family and study has been challenging at times but she’s found ways to carve out a space during her busy days for her studies. “My kids say, ‘Mum, go to bed!’ but I say, ‘No, I’ve got to finish my homework.’.”

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Fellow student Marlene Cassidy (Ngāpuhi) says that the thought process behind the work has been an interesting part of journey for her. “A lot of it is thinking before you do a picture and learning how to let your thoughts be transmitted through the brush and onto the paper.” Marlene’s work is also gouache on paper with a muted, natural palette of colours. Her inspiration ranges from Papatuanuku and Ranginui to a Dargaville scene to the hongi.

“The Applied Arts programme is excellent, I love it. That’s why I’m coming back next year. Sue Daly is a brilliant teacher and the whole class gets along so well. I think that comes out in our work. Rāwene is a good learning place.”

The final year diploma students’ “Te Putanga Mai” graduation exhibition at the Rāwene Art Gallery had its preview showing last night (subs 24 November) before opening to the public today (subs 25 November).

“Te Putanga Mai’ is a testament to the diverse talents of the students – several of whom have gone on to secure Auckland and Taupo-based agents for their work while still studying.

A crowd of whānau, tutors, students and community members gathered at the gallery for the preview showing. Tutor Sue Daly acknowledged the journey that the students had been on during their three years of study at NorthTec and asked them to remember the many milestones they had reached along the way.

She told those gathered that regardless of what came next for the students, the end of the diploma programme was a natural ending to a period of study and that she and the other tutors on the applied arts programme were happy to see the students moving out into the world as professional artists.

The “Te Putanga Mai” exhibition runs until 15 December.


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