The Year 11 and 12 NCEA students of Araura College proudly displayed their wood block designs focused on the theme of ‘From the Seashore’, at the BCI exhibition in Aitutaki.
“After brainstorming ideas we agreed as a class that this theme would give everyone plenty of scope to create work that reflected the culture of Aitutaki,” said teacher Judith Ritchie.
“They certainly came up with a huge range of visuals from this and I’m so impressed by the results in this exhibition.”
Each student started with creating expressive backgrounds by painting coloured dyes onto paper, once the wood block was cut, it was then inked and put through the printing press, creating the finished print on paper.
Ritchie was pleased with the efforts from the students. “There is a deep sense of pride and identity evident in the wood block designs, with the students making direct reference to their cultural beliefs, symbols and traditions.”
The students all share a love of creating through art and many have had a passion for expressing themselves in this form, since childhood.
Student Ngametua Kamoe, 17 years: “I used the ei as my theme because it’s common in ceremonies, like weddings, birthdays and on costumes; people recognize ei’s as part of our culture.”
Kenneth Junior Rota, 17 years: “I want people to think about how the humble coconut is so important to the people of Aitutaki and the Cook Islands. I chose the coconut as my theme because it has many uses, from eating it to using it as medicine; the coconut has also been used as a costume material in traditional dancing.”
Shantel Katai, 17 years: “I’ve loved art since primary school, I’m blown away seeing my work on show in the BCI art exhibition. Art is life and enjoying it, like seeing this exhibition can make you feel happy at the end of the day.”
Visual Arts teacher Judith Ritchie expresses her appreciation to the sponsors. “I’d like to acknowledge the valued and significant partnership with the Bank of the Cook Islands; only with their financial support was this project made possible. From Araura College, the students and I, meitaki atupaka BCI.”