Three-dimensional origami-like art passion leads to gallery display for Timaru 'sensation'
It's origami - but not as you know it.
A passion for the Japanese art of origami has turned a 10-year-old Timaru boy into a "sensation" with his friends, peers, family, and teachers for his intricate three-dimensional paper creations.
Marz Miguel-Lopez, a Sacred Heart Primary School pupil, first learnt the art of origami when he was six years old and has progressed to creating complex three-dimensional paper creations, making animals, Pokemon, Chinese dragons, and other cartoon characters.
He was completely self-taught, learning from books and later YouTube videos, he said.
"At my old school, someone gave something that looked like an origami ... which was easy to do.
"And then I made loads of them."
He spent between a few minutes and a week making his creations, which were made out of hundreds of carefully folded paper cones.
His biggest creation took the longest - a three-dimensional "giant bird".
Marz prefers making the harder, more complex creations. He especially enjoys big animal creations, he said.
Father Edsel Lopez said when Marz watched television, he would fold paper cones without taking his eyes off the television.
"When he started in school, his teacher asked him to [teach] origami," Mother Miguela Lopez said.
Until then, he had been colouring in plain white paper to add colour to his creations, she said.
That was when the school provided him with coloured paper for the classes.
"He said, 'Oh, oh, there's coloured paper'
"That's his passion, what he likes. We just support him [in] what he likes," Miguela said.
After he showed staff at the Aigantighe Art Gallery, they asked him to put his creations on display. Staff then asked him to host an origami-art class at the gallery on Thursday, between 11 and 12pm, for 16 lucky children.
Aigantighe Art Gallery manager Cara Fitzgerald said it was an honour for Marz to come and share his talents with his peers.
After posting a picture of his creations on the gallery's Facebook page on Wednesday, it became the page's most-shared post.
"He's quite a wee sensation locally, which is nice."