Jamie Boynton is bringing his experiences as an artist to Palmerston North's Te Manawa, offering secondary school students and adults a chance to explore new ways to find inspiration.
The Whakatane-based artist is the creator of Mauri Ora - an ongoing exhibition at Te Manawa that explores universal themes of the Maori creation tradition, depicting the formation of Ranginui and Papatuanuku.
In the two-hour workshops, Boynton said he was giving people the opportunity to experience different techniques in generating ideas than they would perhaps use.
"I get them doing a visioning exercise, thinking about concepts around creation and how that relates back to them. Starting with a big picture and then bringing it back to themselves."
Palmerston North Girls' High student Jasmine Nugent said they thought about the world, New Zealand and then themselves, and started to draw their ideas.
"It really helped to see that we can think out of the box and to take your ideas further. It was also inspiring to know where Jamie started from."
Boynton said he enjoyed working with students outside of the school environment.
"It is a different dynamic without the restrictions and framework. It's cool to be able to dig under the surface a bit and see the things that are bubbling under the surface."
Girls' High student Nancy Won said she was lacking a bit of inspiration before she came into the workshop but now she was feeling motivated to create more.
"It was interesting thinking about the spiritual side of things, delving into the symbolic side of art."
Boynton said if the participants were feeling motivated and excited then he felt he was achieving something.
"People inspire me as well. I set myself a small challenge before the workshops to get the most out of everyone in the time I have and if I do that I know I am doing my best."
Boynton is a fulltime artist in Whakatane and runs a similar workshop through community organisation Reap, a programme offering education opportunities to rural communities. Boynton said there was a huge need in the community for a better approach to support young people, especially at-risk youth.
"I try to connect and offer them a window to another world where they can see another pathway."
The Mauri Ora workshops continue tomorrow and Boynton will also be giving a talk on his exhibition in conjunction with the Te Manawa Matariki celebrations.
- Manawatu Standard
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