Well-being walkway explores creativity

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(From left) poet Teoti Jardine, Aparima College pupils Tahla Ward (singer/songwriter, 14), Dom Riddell (videographer, 17), Anaru Crawford (carving, 14), Madisyn Wills (music, 14), English teacher Lynne Grove, artist Wayne Hill and pupil Jayson Stone (poetry, 14) with some of the driftwood which has been collected to create sculptures along the well-being walkway.

“IT’S going to be a story that grows.”

Aparima College English teacher Lynne Grove said of the 130 schools nationwide which had applied for the Ministry of Education Creatives In School Project, only 34 had succeeded, with Aparima College being one.

“It was very unexpected [because of the high number of applicants], so it is awesome to be accepted.

“We have been given resources to enable a creative project, focusing on local history, art, creativity and the environment.”

More than 30 senior pupils had begun the project by collecting driftwood from around the Jacobs River Estuary to create sculptures which would line a track being created near the Aparima River at the back of the rugby grounds.

Part of the criteria from the Ministry of Education was the project had to be created “in partnership with a professional artist or creative practitioner” and be completed in 20 weeks.

As part of the partnership, Riverton Community Arts Centre chairman and artist Wayne Hill and poet Teoti Jardine had been invited to help.

Hill said part of the project was about using local materials and knowledge, and hoped 12 to 15 sculptures would be made along the “well-being walkway”.

Jardine said writing poetry would allow the pupils “to explore their creativity”.

Poetry would be written on stones and placed along the walkway to “link in with the sculptures and explain what the sculptures are about and our local history”, Grove said.

Part of the process was also learning about local history, which was a continuation from last year’s work, Grove said.

“What they did find out [about their history], engaged them.

“There are lots of stories out there… this project will give our senior generation the opportunity to pass down their knowledge to the younger generation… to help link them to the land.

“We are thankful to the Oraka Aparima Runaga and Te Hikoi.”

The project not only gave pupils the opportunity to develop their talents, but also to learn new skills such as Year 10 pupil Anaru Crawford (14) who was learning to carve from his father, Nathan, Grove said.

pupil Jayson Stone (14) was keen on poetry, singer and songwriter Tahla Ward (14) was writing songs for the project and Year 13 pupil Dom Riddell (17) would be making a video.

“He is very good at landscape composition… and we will use his work at the celebration in April,” Grove said.

At the completion, there would be a celebratory event for the community in early April.

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