At the end of 2019 I had the honour of being asked by King’s College to be their Artist-in-Residence in 2020. For a while there it looked like the residency wouldn’t be going ahead because of COVID-19. But thankfully New Zealand did an awesome job at reducing the impact of the virus, schools re-opened, people went back to work and we got the go ahead that I could come into the school for a week.
It was a full on immersion in the art department for 5 days. Seeing that I normally work by myself in my studio and we had just come out of the lockdown it was a full on experience for me being surrounded by so many people! I have so much respect for teachers and the amount of energy they put into their students every day.
The staff were amazing, so accommodating and enthusiastic. They got together for two staff professional development sessions, the first time they have done this with a visiting artist.
I taught workshops to Year 12 and 13 Design students, focusing on calligraphy, lettering and typography and how they could use it to enhance their design projects. I pushed the students out of their comfort zone and got them experimenting using their hands and a variety of tools. I then worked with them individually to discuss and work on their projects.
I also had a few sessions with Year 10 Art, this was thirty 14 year old boys in one room!! Definitely not my usual workshop attendees, but I think most of them really enjoyed trying something different.
I also had time to work on a couple of art pieces that are now part of the King’s art collection. The ‘K’ in particular is a little taster of what will be in the new collection I am working on.
My time as the artist-in-residence at King’s College was a great experience. It has really motivated me to start teaching workshops again because people were so enthusiastic to learn. So watch this space as I am lining up some dates and will be releasing details soon.