The concepts of Kotahitanga (togetherness, unity and collective action lifting each other up, identifying as one) and Poutama (the pursuit of knowledge) guided the design of the two tohu - Kaitiakatanga and Ākonga - crafted by Manukorihi Winiata (Ngāti Raukawa, Te Āti Awa, Ngāti Awa, Ngāti Tūwharetoa) for Whitireia and WelTec.
My journey as an artist started at the age of 16 when I picked up the kuru and whao (mallet and chisels) to begin my journey in the art of Whakairo with my koroua in the settlement of Waiwhetu. After 7 years being fully immersed in the art of Whakairo within a staunch traditional setting, I made the move to Gisborne on the Tairawhiti to attend and complete a degree at Toihoukura – School of Contemporary Māori Visual Arts.
It was during my time at Toihoukura I explored many different media and materials across multiple Māori art forms (Tā moko, Kowhaiwhai, Uku). After my experience at Toihoukura I attended the Learning Connexion – School of Creativity and Art in Taita, Lower Hutt. My experience at The Learning Connexion highlighted the important role creativity plays within visual arts.
My art practice today still consists of Māori visuals being explored across new media and materials to create new outcomes. The digital design space is a new and exciting journey, it is where I find the majority of my work being created today.