Vianney Parata's ambition to be a Tā Moko artist is etching closer by the day.
"That's what I aspire to be," says the Ko Te Atiawa ki Whakarongotai, Ngāti Toa Rangatira me Ngāti Kahungunu mother of two.
Studying under kaiako Sian Montgomery-Neutze, at Te Wānanga o Aotearoa in Porirua she says; "I've learned the meanings for kōwhaiwhai patterns, taaniko, and Māori figures like manaia and mokomoko, and I've just started learning the history of tā moko. These things will be able to help me in my career."
Vianney is near completion of her Diploma in Māori Art Rauangi.
The Level 5 contemporary visual art qualification provides the opportunity tolets tauira deeply explore the tikanga and processes of creative expression to further develop the 23-year-old's specialist skills.
Vianney says she was attracted to the course after completing Toi Paematua – Kāwai Raupapa Level 4 (Certificate in Māori Visual Arts) Rauangi in 2013.
"I thought, ‘why not finish it?’ The class so far has been awesome. Sian, our tutor has given us heaps of opportunities."
The Tītahi Bay resident managed to secured herself an apprenticeship in Tā Moko with her tutor and another artist Taryn Beri, under their collective called Toi Wāhine.
The collaboration of Māori Women Artists was formed over a year ago and has hosted numerous exhibitions and community-based events since.
"I've already had the opportunity to be in three exhibitions," says Vianney.
"If I know anyone interested in doing art I will recommend them to do this course. and I hope to carry on and go further into level 6 and level 7."
Although Vianney has a background in retail and currently works at a childcare centre, these skills combined with her ability to learn more about Māori pūrakau and network with like-minded creatives has her optimistic about the future.
"I've met some really great friends. The experience has been above and beyond my expectations."