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Toi Māori Graduate: Shayna Kidwell-Teruna

A path is set for former tauira toi Shayna Kidwell-Teruna who has sights on running her own printing business one day. With completion of the Kāwai Raupapa Certificate in Māori indigenous art, she’s one step closer this year as she returns to study reo before moving on to a business programme to make her dream reality.

Improving her grasp on reo Māori will allow her to discover tikanga around patterns and motifs she enjoys drawing and utilising in her designs.

“Often when I play around with Māori motifs I’m wondering what does this mean? What does it represent? What can go with this design and what can’t? So my next step towards the end goal is getting my reo up to scratch to go into tikanga more deeply,” says Shayna.

Shayna’s whānau and close friends are major inspirations for her art, which was evident in her works at the end of year toi exhibition in Porirua -Takuraurau.

Toi Māori by Shayna Kidwell-Teruna

“It always comes back to whānau. All my pieces relate to how I feel about my whānau. One of my pieces I dedicated to my daughter. As my classmate pointed out, it looks a bit like a whare tangata, a pair of ovaries and the womb,” describes Shayna.

Alongside this framed artwork is a series of creations featuring her design ‘Raukawa x Raukura’. Shayna created this graphic with her best friend in Perth in mind. Her friend was pregnant with twins, but was without her whānau and feeling homesick through the Covid pandemic.

“I thought of them a lot while I worked on this design. It represents the twins and their bond, how they will always be connected – they will grow up together and someday they’ll go on their separate journeys but will always have a bond with their parents and tupuna protecting them along the way,” Shayna says.

Toi Māori by Shayna Kidwell-Teruna

Understanding the challenges of motherhood all too well, Shayna feels deeply for whānau and friends, knowing that life throws a lot your way and support from loved ones is precious.

“I didn’t adjust well after my third chilld. I suffered a bit of postnatal depression and although I didn’t know it at the time, I see it for what it was now, and my close friends and whānau were what got me through,” she says.

Toi Māori by Shayna Kidwell-Teruna

The toi experience at Te Wānanga allowed Shayna to discover different ways to express herself in her art. Gradually moving towards digital as a preferred medium, she learned a lot from the kaiako and other tauira, and fully utilised all the resources and student services available. Being able to get away from home life to enter a creative enclave was just what she needed.

“Being with all these women, it’s not only been the space to do mahi physically, but it’s helped me mentally find the drive I needed. I’ve definitely learned a lot from the course, but mainly it’s been the people that has made it special,” she says.

This go-getter concedes that her ideas are always bigger than budget, so the business course will definitely be the next port of call after reo for this life-long learner who will see things through with pure determination and heart.

Find out more about our Toi Māori Arts programmes

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Published On: 20 April 2022

Article By: Salina Ghazally

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