03 Aug Whānau Tutor Mural Blessed
It was a little wet and a little dark, but the dawn blessing of Whānau Tutor mural, Ka puta ki te whaiao ki Te Ao Mārama (Step into the World of Light), on the last day of Term 2 was beautiful.
Our guests included Eliza Donald, Artist in schools, Pita Turei of Ngāi Tai, Justine Driver (Principal of Sunnyhills), Rebecca Isemonger (past Art teacher), Shanna Rope (past Te Reo teacher), Board members Nicola Troughear and Jacqui Maclean, and staff members.
Just as our Whānau Tutor students had worked collaboratively on the mural with Eliza, they worked collaboratively as a team with Bex Jeffery and Michael Long for the planning and organisation of the blessing. Their dedication to the tikanga of the blessing was shown as they arrived from 5.15am welcoming guests, speaking with them, and performing a waiata in the rain with strength and pride and later our Kapa Haka group also performed for guests.
Michael Long spoke on behalf of the Whānau Tutor students and Pakuranga and Pita Turei performed the blessing. It was a truly powerful morning and those present could not help but admire the wonderful artwork, passion, and strength of the students and in particular our strong wahine leadership of Charlotte Tukiri and Kayla Ngaropo.
The final design of the Ka puta ki te whaiao ki Te Ao Mārama depicts Kupe’s journey to Aotearoa, which Eliza mapped out and the students painted with her. It is now proudly displayed on the side of Rae Block. More information about the mural’s inspiration and creation process can be found in this video, which features Whānau Tutor students and Eliza.