Daniel Crichton-Rouse/Te Papa
From left to right, Taita College students Vika Tupou, Ema Pasikala, Jaspreet Singh, Hunter Robinson and Junior Misa.
A group of Lower Hutt high school students drew on their cultural backgrounds and artistic strengths in an advertising campaign for one of Te Papa’s collections.
Eight Taita College students worked with Te Papa and Wellington-based advertising agency VMLY&R to create posters for the museum’s online collections.
He was part of VMLY&R Te Ara Mahi professional experience program, which aims to increase diversity in the design and advertising industry.
The students worked with members of the Te Papa team to access works from the collection and help create the posters, which were displayed around Lower Hutt in October and November.
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13th grade student Vika Tupou said her poster Tortoise was a tribute to the natural taonga and its culture.
“The turtle is symbolic in Polynesia, and it was culturally relevant to me. [The work experience was] so different from what I imagined.
“I thought it would be boring, but it was a creative and fun experience that we all loved to do. I would totally do it again, and hope others do too,” Tupou said.
Another student, Hunter Robinson, used graffiti-style typography in the collaborative work Eye because he wanted it to resonate with younger people.
“People who are the same age as me like this stuff. I do graffiti in my spare time, and that’s what attracts me. Friends and family would; they would take me, and I would watch them. I thought, I wanted to do this.
Te Papa’s Collections Online contains almost 800,000 works of art, objects and taonga stored in the museum’s collections.
This is the first time Te Papa has worked with the students on this campaign, and marketing manager Bridgette Yates said the collaboration was an opportunity to connect with Maori, Pasifika and younger audiences.
“The process also opened up and supported career paths in an influential creative industry, bringing diversity,” Yates said.
Taita College Principal Karen Morgan said she was “so proud” of what the students had produced.
“It’s pretty cool to see them in their element, and it’s proof that we live and breathe whanaungatanga.
“We are a family here at Taita College, and we hope to provide our students with the community connections and tools to see them thrive.”
VMLY&R and Te Papa intend to continue the work experience program.
The agency’s client service manager, Belinda James, said the work experience program was designed to provide young people with hands-on mentorship, so they can see a future in the ad agency.
“It’s also invaluable to us because we learn a lot from them.”