OPOTIKI’S Jamie Boynton is one of 10 Bay of Plenty artists selected to create art works for the University of Waikato’s new Tauranga campus.
Mr Boynton said taking part in the work was a great opportunity to rub shoulders with other Bay of Plenty artists and iwi.
“We are all representing different aspects of the campus, the history of the iwi, and the vision of the university through the expression of different artworks that we’ve been commissioned to create,” he said.
Mr Boynton said the artworks consisted of a mixture of traditional and contemporary art-forms, including poupou, raranga, tekoteko and a series of illustrative forms, which was what he is currently working on.
“The illustrations will be mounted on glass panels, and the tekoteko will stand in the noho room.”
Mr Boynton said our national identity was being anchored through these institutions, embracing the unity and diversity of our culture.
“The artworks are ‘touchstones’ – in this space we can experience and learn about aspects of Te Ao Maori, while inviting us to reflect on a broader cultural paradigm through their unique expression.”
University of Waikato kaumatua Tamati Tata said in the space of a year, the landscape of Tauranga’s CBD had changed dramatically.
“The University of Waikato’s new Tauranga campus is gradually revealing itself and, over the coming months, progress will be on the interior fit out,” he said.
“Behind the scenes, a team of Bay of Plenty artists have been selected to create several major artworks for the new university-led campus, opening in early 2019.”
Mr Tata said carver Whare Thompson hadbeen appointed the co-ordinating artist for the overall Tauranga campus artworks project.
Apart from Mr Thompson and Mr Boynton, Shona Tawhiao, Robert Turner, Teresa Nepia, Michael Mason, Melissa Willison, James Tapiata, Maraea Timutimu and Kereama Taepa are also working on the project.
“The artworks will express a cultural narrative which reflects the relationship with mana whenua and more broadly with Tauranga Moana and Bay of Plenty iwi,” Mr Tata said.
“The artworks also acknowledge the relationships with our education partners in the region and with the many diverse cultures that will make up our campus community.”