Tiffany Makoare was once a student at Te Wānanga o Aotearoa but now teaches her own class in the King Country town of Taumarunui.
The 33-year-old mother graduated with a Diploma in Māori and Indigenous Art in 2020 and in 2021 took on the role as a kaiako, teaching Toi Maruata – Certificate in Māori and Indigenous Art Level 3.
“When I studied I didn’t once think I would land this job. It’s created opportunities and having this skillset can play a big part in te ao Māori,” says Tiffany.
Tiffany’s teaching is focussed on the visual art of painting but her lessons go deeper than just teaching the skills and techniques of the art form.
The aim for Tiffany throughout 2021 was to get her tauira (students) to widen their perspective when it came to art and get them to understand that it isn’t all about the final product.
“They started to notice art around their community. They could identify the names of certain designs and patterns and they could see the creative process behind the art.”
Many of Tiffany’s tauira had doubts about their creative ability with many saying they couldn’t even draw.
But Tiffany was more than willing to keep working with them and draw out the creative potential she could see in each of her tauira.
“We had an art exhibition in semester A for Matariki and their mahi (work) just blew me away. Then people wanted to buy their art and they weren’t even from town,” says Tiffany whos only intention was to share the art with their local community.
This year Tiffany will be teaching a Level 4 Certificate in Māori and Indigenous Art at TWoA’s Taumarunui campus and encourages those who are interested to give it a go and see where it will take them.
“It’s not about the art itself, it’s not about being perfect, it’s about finding your technique and your flow.”