Is This Thing On?: An exhibition of student success

22 November 2019

Is This Thing On?: An exhibition of student success

Image: Jolene Pascoe in front of her work 1974-1984 and Embellished

The latest exhibition at NorthTec’s Geoff Wilson Gallery showcases the diverse art practices of eight graduating Bachelor of Applied Arts students: Threy Cameron, Grant Matthews, Jared McGiven, Torben Morrison, Ihipera Keefe, Joe Paikea, Jolene Pascoe and Isaiah Rameka.

The exhibition invites viewers to consider what space is left for traditional connections, rituals and values within a digitally-saturated landscape in a busy, fast-changing world.

The exhibition opening held on Tuesday evening was attended by family and friends of the exhibitors, tutors, NorthTec staff, and art lovers from around Te Tai Tokerau.

NorthTec tutor, Murray Gibbs, says the graduate exhibition is the catalyst of three years of study for the students. He says: “This is an important part of the degree as they are able to be professional, stand up as individuals, and stand proudly beside their work. It’s a huge achievement.”

One of the exhibiting students, Jolene Pascoe, says it is an unbelievable experience to exhibit her work at the end of three years of hard work and study.

She says: “It’s overwhelming really. It’s the end of my studies but it feels like the beginning as well. I plan to complete a Master’s degree in the next couple of years and focus on exhibiting locally as much as I can. The art community in Whangarei is really, really good. Everyone is supportive and it has a community feel, which NorthTec is definitely part of.

“The most important thing I’ve learnt throughout my degree is to keep an open mind to the constructive feedback we have received from our passionate tutors and also our fellow students. We’ll never get this opportunity again to receive their amazing guidance, advice, and mentorship.

“The quality of teaching here is amazing. Between them, I think our tutors know just about everyone in the New Zealand art scene. This degree is a good platform for getting recognised. I mean, you can see the amazing art coming out of this course – it speaks for itself.”

Another exhibiting student, Isaiah Rameka, is the first in his family to complete a degree and says he owes this to his passion for painting.

“This is a great achievement for me to be able to look after my family in the future. It’s what I really want to do with my life and something that I really love. I started drawing cartoon characters and noticed that I was good and getting better, so then I started painting.

“I came through NorthTec’s Art Academy and continued straight into the degree as soon as I finished school. The tutors here saw that I really wanted this degree and wanted to be an artist, so they pushed me, helped me, and gave me connections so I can pursue my dream even further than I thought.”

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