Discovering a local artist, learning new art techniques and getting stuck in with scissors – just a few of the highlights of our Year 5 and 6 students’ recent visit to the Todd Couper exhibition at the Tauranga Art Gallery.
Todd Couper is a Tauranga-based, contemporary Māori artist who draws and makes sculptures using native woods and bronze. He is inspired by traditional Maori wood carving and kowhaiwhai found in meeting houses called Toi Mauri, which refers to the essence or spirit held within each individual artwork.
Couper’s subjects include kaitiaki (guardian spirits) from the natural world such as the eagle, the morepork and the stingray.
Teacher Sue Webster said the annual visit to the Art Gallery was a meaningful experience for students.
“It allows them the opportunity to appreciate local artists, to view and discuss art techniques and materials and to engage in practical art activities related to the exhibition. It also encourages students to enjoy the Tauranga Art Gallery and its special learning environment.”
After visiting the exhibition, students used scissors and paper to create their own 3D sculptures, incorporating elements of Todd Couper’s art such as the koru and birds into their own creations.