Art links school and iwi
Ormiston Senior College now has a precious taonga hanging from its walls.
Last year the school embarked on a project to commission a piece of artwork that showed the bond between the college, the land and iwi.
Artist Jason Adams, of Ngaitai descent, was the perfect fit for the project and he brought the school's vision to life.
He says seeing the artwork hanging from the walls of the whare kura was a powerful moment for him.
"Last year was a significant time for me, it was actually one of the toughest times for me spiritually and emotionally. I overcame a few things. I hope what I have put into it and the taonga being at the school means that the effort is felt by the students too."
He says the artwork is a progression of his style and he hopes students can draw inspiration from it.
"The materials I used, the way I put it together - it is a whole new level. I took up a challenge and that is important in life. You can't stay who you are and where you are all your life and be comfortable with it; we don't grow that way."
Mr Adams says the norms and behaviours of the college can be found within the artwork titled Waka Huia o Whakatupuranga.
He says this translates roughly to "the waka that carries the treasure generations - the students of Ormiston College".
Mr Adams says the four corners of the artwork represent the four winds, Nga Hau E Wha, and the koru pattern shows the growth of the students.
"We have a lot of different cultures and ethnicities here, you just have to look around to see that. In relation to this taonga it represents the many tribes of the world gathered here at Ormiston."
Principal Maurie Jackways says the bond between the iwi and the school has gone from strength to strength as the school has grown.
"During the set-up phase of the college, before we even had any students, we worked very, very closely with Umupuia Marae. And although we are surrounded by lots of our own beautiful artwork here we haven't actually got anything unique to us which links our school to the land and to our relationship with our iwi."
He says the entire school was behind the project with students even contributing money.
In 2011 student Gemma-Jayde Naido won money from an Ignite talent competition and rather than keeping it for herself she donated it to the cause.
The college's tangata whenua service group also raised funds for the artwork.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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