With the last portfolios returned from New Zealand Tereora College art students achieved some outstanding NCEA results in 2019.
Kaia Dearlove received an NCEA Excellent Endorsement in Level One Visual Arts; Dennise Nanai and Eryka Tommy both gained NCEA Excellence Endorsements in Level Two Painting.
This year, Kaia is studying Level Two Painting and Level Two Printmaking.
Art teacher Charlotte Cousins said Kaia’s own flavour came through with her love of the local kakaia and music.
“So the ‘DJing Tangaroa’ that featured in her portfolio last year was all her, while still showing the conventions of American Artist Blaine Fontana,” Cousins said.
Dennise Nanai is currently studying Level Three Painting.
Her theme last year started with pollution, the worlds above and below (sea and sky), utopia and dystopia.
She was interested in the past, present and changes in the environment and found her flow on the second of her portfolio panels with a surrealist twist influenced by Salvador Dali, Yves Tanguy, Beata Chrzanowska and Andy Curlowe.
There was even a little influence from Moana and the legend of Te Fiti in there.
Eryka Tommy is studying both Level Three Painting and Level Three Photography - two separate subjects. Her theme last year began with tools and insects.
She began looking at Jim Dine and started to feed in some local scenery.
She looked into MC Escher and saw possibilities playing around with the repetition and transformation of her subject matter with beetles turning into pliers, a snail into a measuring tape, and screws became coconut palms.
Experiments in scale offered further development, a gigantic crab sat atop Rarotonga’s mountains, and humour was never far from the surface with a memorable painting depicting a belt sander/bug sanding a sandy beach, which had peeled cheekily back in one corner to reveal the beach was actually a piece of sandpaper.
An NCEA Excellence Endorsement is issued to candidates who have achieved 50 or more credits in a particular subject.
Cousins said she loves how her students’ work becomes more than the sum of all these parts by the end of their year’s journey.
“They are learning how to be artists,” she said.