He Kakano book launched at Raumati South School

He Kākano (Seed), the book produced as a result of two terms work between Mahara Gallery, Ngā Manu Nature Reserve and Raumati South School was launched last week at the school.

The book highlights over 100 students’ artworks and poetry, as a reflection of their experience of the project which is supported by the Phillip Family Foundation (PFF). The project involves a trip to Ngā Manu and a visit to Mahara Gallery, followed up by several school visits by local artist Michelle Backhouse, poet Mary-Jane Duffy and filmmaker Dean Hapeta to produce the seed-related poems and artworks featured in the book.

“The experience is unlike anything many students have ever had before,” says lead teacher Lynley Gould. “The trip to Ngā Manu, the visit to the gallery and then the one-on-one work with artists and poets creates something rich and meaningful which the students will remember for a long time.”

The PFF-funded project has run for several years, each year with a different environmental focus. Artist Michelle Backhouse uses several different techniques to produce the artworks, based on several well-known artists and styles from Matisse to Aboriginal art.

“This year’s theme, He Kakano (Seed), has helped create a vibrant and interesting book,” says Mahara gallery director Janet Bayly. “The students really embraced the different styles to create many diverse and appealing artworks”.

As a memory of their experience, each student receives a copy of the book He Kākano (Seed), which is available for sale at Mahara Gallery, along with all titles produced in previous years.