‘I make objects that set a scene or present a stage on which other things can happen, I look at them as objects that have no history–their history starts today,’ Michael Parekōwai.
Students explored a range of historic and contemporary art in the exhibition This is New Zealand, discussing how the art reflected aspects of New Zealand’s changing national identity. They then studied in detail two of the Māori artists in the exhibition, Para Matchitt and Michael Parekōwai. They made close observation drawings of details of Michael Parekōwhai’s carved grand piano sculpture He Korero Purakau mo Te Awanui o Te Motu: story of a New Zealand river, using white pen on black card. They also observed how Para Matchitt had designed bird costumes using a cut and fold technique. They experimented with this technique, using paper to cut patterned stencils which they then screen printed next to their line drawings.