Teach­ers be­come pupils in art class

Central Otago Mirror - - CENTRAL NEWS - By MARY-JO TO­HILL

It was a case of the teach­ers be­com­ing the pupils at Clyde Pri­mary School this week when award win­ning Ban­nock­burn artist Me­gan Huf­fa­dine took staff for a sketch­ing class. When she is not teach­ing art, Ms Huf­fa­dine ex­hibits her work, re­cently pick­ing up her fourth sculp­ture award in the last 12 months, win­ning the In­ver­cargill Li­cens­ing Trust Art Awards sculp­ture prize for the sec­ond time, as well as be­ing awarded the Waitakere Art Awards Lin­coln Green sculp­ture award in Auck­land, and fea­tur­ing promi­nently in the Cen­tral Otago Art Awards. Her win­ning work at the ILT Awards, a wall-work of 22 in­di­vid­ual sculp­tures, drew on her ex­pe­ri­ence in ar­chae­ol­ogy and work­ing in mu­se­ums, em­pha­sis­ing how ob­jects sur­vive and out­last the lives of their mak­ers and own­ers, Ms Huf­fa­dine said. ‘‘I’m fas­ci­nated by the am­bi­gu­ity of shapes and the dif­fer­ent things they can mean. This re­flects the telling and retelling of his­to­ries and that’s how artists tell sto­ries.’’ In her art and sculp­ture, Ms Huf­fa­dine said she worked on the prin­ci­pal that ob­jects could be bro­ken down into a se­ries of sim­ple shapes, then built on layer by layer to com­plete the pic­ture or piece. This week’s les­son was about sketch­ing some of Clyde’s old her­itage build­ings. ‘‘The good thing about old build­ings is that you don’t have to be per­fect. You can do wob­bly lines, and miss bits, and it doesn’t re­ally mat­ter,’’ she told her class. How­ever she is still a stick­ler for good tech­nique. On her sec­ond ses­sion with Ms Huf­fa­dine, teacher Cherelle Gib­son said ‘‘she is an in­spi­ra­tion’’. ‘‘You can do dif­fer­ent styles us­ing the same tech­nique. It’s great for kids be­cause you can adapt the style to any project.’’ Mrs Gib­son said it was good to draw on the skills of community artists. Each teacher went away with a whole set of notes cov­er­ing how to teach sketch­ing. Ms Huf­fa­dine teaches reg­u­larly at Cromwell and Omakau pri­mary schools and has taught at Otago polytech­nic, fit­ting in week­end work­shops and pri­vate tu­ition around her own exhibitions and com­mis­sions.

Photo: MARY-JO TO­HILL

Arty: Clyde School teach­ers prac­tis­ing what they preach by rep­e­ti­tion to get their sketches just right un­der the ex­pert tu­ition of award win­ning Ban­nock­burn artist Me­gan Huf­fa­dine.

Photo: SUP­PLIED

New mean­ing to old shapes: Award-win­ning Artist Me­gan Huf­fa­dine’s unique wall sculp­tures.

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