Ngati Toa’s pride and joy
Ngati Toa School students’ artwork will be on display for thousands of people to see at the national museum.
Pupils from room 9 gathered at Te Papa on June 16 to see the unveiling of their work as part of the discovery centre on level 4.
Twenty-seven linocut prints are hanging in an exhibition entitled Kaitiaki, a traditional Maori view on guarding the environment.
Ngati Toa iwi asked the children to create the works for display in a separate space near the iwi’s feature exhibition, Whiti Te Ra! The story of Ngati Toa Rangatira, which opened at Te Papa on June 14.
Louellen Bonnallack, Ngati Toa School’s principal before retiring at the end of term 1, said the class worked on the linocut prints for two weeks at the end of March, with the help of Te Papa art educator and artist Makaira Waugh.
In the first week they planned the pictures and sketched the drafts, before Waugh taught them how to cut patterns into the lino templates.
In the second week, they printed the pictures on a printing press, and wrote their thoughts behind the artworks they had created.
‘‘They’ve written some lovely things about that,’’ Bonnallack said. ‘‘It was a really thorough and interesting process of thinking and doing.’’
Seeing the unveiling at Te Papa was a thrill for everyone,’’ Barbara Smith, the school’s acting principal, said.
‘‘It’s such an endorsement for the children,’’ she said.
Levi Ware and Pharell Shedlock-Zimmerman, both 10, spoke in Te Reo and English during the gathering at Te Papa.
Levi said the children were proud to have their art shown in a space nearby the taonga of the Ngati Toa iwi.
Big honour: Room 9 from Ngati Toa School in front of the exhibition Kaitiaki.
Valuable work: Levi Ware from Ngati Toa School with his artwork, Carving Treasures. He said carving was a way of expressing himself and that pou can protect people.
Special place: Cedella Pawa from Ngati Toa School with her artwork of Mana Island. She said the island was special because a taniwha landed on it and said the land and sea needed to be protected by everyone.