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Opinion

Paintings celebrate Polynesian culture

Monday 1 November 2021 | Written by Caleb Fotheringham | Published in Local, National

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Paintings celebrate Polynesian culture
Jonathan File with his painting Drummers went for $1900 - 21103101

Apii Te Uki Ou held its annual art auction at The Islander Hotel to raise funds to support the school’s inclusive education model.

Students from the school’s art extension programme sold pieces from $250 to close to $4000.

Isabella Nicholas’ piece, Pathway to Paradise, was sold for the most amount of money on the night. The detailed landscape of a beach entrance sold for $3700.

Another popular painting was the Pukapuka star chart, by artist Pepai Katoa aged 10, that went for $2000. The piece was of a star map and was inspired by Polynesian traditional navigating. 

Jonathan File’s piece, Drummers, went for $1900 and celebrated “the beat of the Cook Islands”. The painting depicted five people drumming on traditional Cook Islands drums.

All pieces celebrated Polynesian culture – flowers, sunsets and the ocean were key themes throughout many pieces.

Shannon Harris, the school’s art extension teacher, addressed the crowd in an emotional speech at the beginning of the night. She shared how proud she was of what her students had accomplished.

Shannon is leaving the school next year, heading back to New Zealand with husband and principal Mark Harris. Board member Karla Eggelton in a speech said the art extension programme was a legacy of Shannon’s time teaching at Apii Te Uki Ou.

Prior to the event, Mark Harris said the students in the programme had worked extremely hard, dedicating lunchtimes, after school hours and weekends to complete their art pieces at a high standard.

Athena Napa-Nicholas (11) painted Kōpū Tangata, which was a portrait of her mother, the piece went for $1100 - 21103103
Pathway to paradise, painted by Isabella Nicholas (12) was the most expensive piece sold on the evening going for $3700 - 21103104
Art auctioneer Tony Fe'ao sells Rota ‘i’ anga, an art piece made by some of Apii Te Uki Ou’s inclusive education children - 21103105
Principal Mark Harris and art extension teacher, Shannon Harris - 21103106
Benaiah Fe’ao (10) one of Apii Te Uki Ou’s inclusive education children stands next to his painting, Heart of Te Fiti, inspired by the movie Moana - 21103107
Liam Murray (10) painted his piece, Eke because of octopus’s prominence in Pasifika culture - 21103108
Isabella Nicholas, stands next to her painting Coconut Grove that went for $1700 - 21103109
Pukapuka star chart, by artist Pepai Katoa (10) went for $2000, the painting was inspired by traditional Polynesian navigators who used stars to navigate between islands - 21103102