Art, en­vi­ron­ment come to­gether

Kapiti News - - News -

Waikanae’s Ma­hara Place echoed to the sound of haka and wa­iata when al­most 160 Rau­mati Beach School pupils cel­e­brated the launch of an an­nual art and en­vi­ron­ment pro­gramme de­scribed as life-chang­ing.

The pro­gramme, Ma­hara-Nga Manu Chil­dren’s Art and En­vi­ron­ment Project, in­volves 158 of the chil­dren ex­hibit­ing their art work in Ma­hara Gallery and 25 also per­form­ing their po­etry in the gallery on film.

It’s the sev­enth con­sec­u­tive year that Ma­hara Gallery and Nga Manu Na­ture Re­serve have worked on the project with

Ka¯ piti schools.

The theme for 2018 has been Rere — to fly or to flow, de­scend or dive, swoop or soar.

The project is sup­ported by the Philipp Fam­ily Foun­da­tion.

Six classes of Rau­mati Beach School chil­dren aged be­tween eight and 10 took part this year.

Since it be­gan in 2012, the project has been de­liv­ered to 16 pri­mary schools and in­volved more than 1400 school chil­dren.

“For some chil­dren each year, it has been a life-chang­ing ex­pe­ri­ence,” Ma­hara Gallery di­rec­tor Janet Bayly said.

“It has given them new con­fi­dence, tools and skills to ex­press them­selves and ex­plore their own unique per­cep­tions.”

At the re­cent launch cer­e­mony, 25 chil­dren re­ceived spe­cial awards for their work, 20 for art works and five for po­etry.

“The chal­lenge was dif­fer­ent for every child but every one of them has shown that they are nat­u­ral artists and cre­ative thinkers with their own re­fresh­ing hon­esty and di­rect­ness of ex­pres­sion.

“We have shared the de­light of every child whose art and po­etry we have helped bring into be­ing, ex­hibit, pub­lish and film.

“We owe our spe­cial thanks to all of the Philipp Fam­ily Foun­da­tion trus­tees for their on­go­ing sup­port and faith in our project and in­vest­ment in the health and well-be­ing of our young Ka¯ piti cit­i­zens of the fu­ture.”

As part of the pro­gramme, the Rau­mati Beach School chil­dren spent a mid-win­ter morn­ing at Nga Manu Na­ture Re­serve ex­plor­ing sci­en­tific, bi­o­log­i­cal and en­vi­ron­men­tal ap­proaches to rere with ranger Rhys Mills.

In the af­ter­noon they vis­ited Ma­hara Gallery to see and re­spond to the art works and themes in two ex­hi­bi­tions for Matariki — Ma¯ ori New Year.

Back in the class­room, the chil­dren took part in two work­shops with artist Michelle Back­house. Some also chose to cre­ate po­etry and rap with Dean Hapeta and Mary-Jane Duffy.

The end re­sult is an ex­hi­bi­tion of the chil­dren’s work at the gallery, ei­ther framed on the wall or in the form of po­etry and rap on film pro­duced by Dean Hapeta.

Both art works and po­etry have been cap­tured in a spe­cial 84-page book that in­cludes the chil­dren’s own com­ments on their work and their ex­pe­ri­ence of the project.

Ava Hip­kins in Earth Life wrote: “I felt the wind blow in my face. My art came alive.

“Ev­ery­thing was mov­ing. It’s not how I had looked at art be­fore. It’s flow­ing like rere — now I un­der­stand the mean­ing of art. Earth Life.”

Hope Mid­dle­ton in Flow­ing wrote: “I loved the feel­ing of the paint slosh­ing onto the pa­per and I like mix­ing the colours to make new colours and putting it on the pa­per. It made me feel good when I heard that art is never wrong.”

Writ­ing in the fore­word to the book, Philipp Fam­ily Foun­da­tion trus­tee Robin Philipp said the trust con­tin­ues to be en­tranced by the in­no­va­tive, thought­ful and stim­u­lat­ing qual­ity of the art work pro­duced.

“Their qual­ity is out­stand­ing and we are de­lighted that the new book aris­ing from each year’s pub­li­ca­tion can be en­joyed by so many peo­ple, in­clud­ing some liv­ing abroad,” he wrote.

“The fun­da­men­tal qual­i­ties of chil­dren have much to teach us.

“They in­clude imag­i­na­tion, en­thu­si­asm, awe, won­der, spon­ta­neous ex­pres­sion, cre­ativ­ity and imag­i­na­tive play.

“If as adults, we can re­cap­ture some­thing of these qual­i­ties and live a lit­tle more by them — while at the same time re­main­ing mind­ful of the val­ues of the nat­u­ral en­vi­ron­ment, our health and well-be­ing could ben­e­fit con­sid­er­ably.”

Rere — to Fly, to Flow will show at the Gallery un­til Oc­to­ber 21.

There will be two spe­cial work­shops at Ma­hara Gallery dur­ing the school hol­i­days.

Kite-mak­ing with Yvonne de Mille is on Oc­to­ber 10 from 10.30am to 12.30pm and 1.30pm to 3.30pm.

It is suit­able for pri­mary school age chil­dren ac­com­pa­nied by an adult. Cap­tur­ing the art of flight with artist and ed­u­ca­tor Paul For­rest is on Thurs­day Oc­to­ber 4 from 10.30am to 12.30pm and 1.30pm to 3.30pm and the same hours on Fri­day Oc­to­ber 5, suit­able for chil­dren aged five to 12.


Chil­dren from Rau­mati Beach School per­form haka and wa­iata in Waikanae’s Ma­hara Place to cel­e­brate the launch of the Ma­hara-Nga Manu Chil­dren’s Art and En­vi­ron­ment Project.

The book cover of Rere — to Fly to Flow, Rau­mati Beach Chil­dren’s Cre­ations.

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