One the first recipients of a Taupo college art scholarship set up in memory of murdered Scottish backpacker Karen Aim has had her work presented to Ms Aim's home town in the Orkney Islands.
Victoria University architecture student Kate Bevin, of Taupo, won the $2000 Karen Aim Memorial Scholarship in her final year at Taupo-nui-a-Tia College in 2008 - less than a year after Ms Aim was murdered while walking home to her flat late one night.
Scholarship winners must produce an artwork during their tertiary course. Ms Bevin, now 20, completed it last summer.
She said yesterday that she had been nervous about making the sculpture. "I was awarded the scholarship in the year Karen was murdered, which was awful to think about when I was trying to decide what to make.
"I took an awful long time to decide what I wanted to do as I was unsure what was expected. It was a real learning curve for me."
The 70-centimetre framed sculpture, White Torso with Flowers, showed the five stages of grief - anger, depression, denial, bargaining and acceptance of loss, she said.
It was flown to Ms Aim's parents at Holm and presented at a church service officiated by the Rev John Howell, of Taupo, last weekend.
Ms Bevin said the materials she chose - wire, papier mache, cotton, leather, PVC and bandages - emphasised Ms Aim's femininity, and her background in textile design.
Ms Aim graduated with a degree in textiles in 2003 before she travelled to New Zealand.
The fund, which was set up in 2008 and paid out $12,000 in three years to six Taupo college students, has since been discontinued.
Jahche Broughton, 14, was jailed for 12 years in February 2009 for Ms Aim's murder.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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