12 Sep Yonah Receives Prestigious Art Award
As the daughter of an Art teacher and a keen amateur photographer, Year 13 international student Yonah Ma was given a camera to use at a very young age. She has been dedicated to the visual arts ever since. Arriving at Pakuranga College from Hong Kong in Year 11, Yonah has since become something of a star student.
Such is her dedication to her craft, that she was recently presented with a prestigious Pat Hanly Creativity Award. Offered by The Auckland City Art Gallery, this award is given to students in the region who have demonstrated outstanding creativity, imagination and commitment to the visual arts”
Auckland Art Gallery Director Kirsten Paisley said at the award ceremony: “The Pat Hanly Creativity Awards have always been about making art accessible and encouraging young people to have a voice. They create a sense of achievement and recognition, and open up the possibility of making connections with peers and with Auckland Art Gallery.”
The awards, supported by AUT, acknowledge the late artist Pat Hanly’s outstanding contribution to New Zealand contemporary art and his passion for art education and supporting young artists.
All applicants are required to present an example of their work along with a statement about why art is important to them. Yonah submitted a series of photographs entitled ‘Bathe It In Poison’ – One more drop and one more splash, the food industries soak the food we’re going to consume in artificial colourings. (see below)
In her statement she pointed out that, “What I want to gain out of this opportunity, is to share with people that art isn’t just about making a statement, but it’s also about expressing oneself through creativity in finding peace and creating a utopia for one’s state of mind.”
As a Year 13 student, Yonah is currently working hard to prepare for final NCEA assessments in Painting, Photography, Design and Art History. She’s hoping to study at MIT in Melbourne, saying, “I really love the fact that art can be a job here. In Hong Kong, art is not a job, it’s a hobby. It would be amazing to earn a living doing something that I love so much.”