Student Profile

Mahinaarangi Reihana-Kopa - Maori Arts (Visual)

Mahinaarangi Reihana-Kopa - Maori Arts (Visual)

“After 17 years teaching I was told just before the end of the school year that my position was no longer available. It totally threw me - then at my school farewell a colleague described me as an artist. I had never considered myself as an artist but this was the catalyst that led me to take this course.”

“I had trained originally as a chef, then did a degree in consumer and applied sciences, and then a teaching diploma, so art seemed like a totally new pathway.”

“When I left the school, I was offered a training package with the condition that it was at level 7. I was assessed and acknowledged for Recognized Prior Learning and was able to enter here at level 6. And so began my journey of self-discovery in this wonderful kura.”

 “When I started here I was hungry to get my hands busy so was frustrated with having to do research, but it helped me slow down and appreciate the layers involved in art. Through the research I’m also realizing the value of artists and it’s dawning on me how spoilt I was with creative influences when I grew up. There were many artistic people around our family, including Rei Hamon, and my environment has always been rich in weaving, sewing and clay. Painting is a more recent discovery.”

“I’m being encouraged here to explore past my own boundaries and to dare to be different in order to fulfil my potential. It’s exciting keeping a visual diary and I’m getting great grades. I’m starting to value myself.”

“I remember I used to tell my students that presenting a buffet was like art – the plates are the palette, the knives and forks are the brushes, and the food is the colour. So perhaps it’s not all so new. The skills are the same but the materials are different.”

“Long term I may teach again but in a new form. I’m also curious about curating. In these changing times we’ve got to become versatile and flexible with using our skills.”

Father: Ngati Hine, Ngapuhi nui-tonu

Mother: Rangitane o Wairau, Ngati Kere o Kahungunu