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Ashley McDonald

ashley-mcdonald-aotearoa-artistARTISTIC NATURE

I am a 16 year old that was born and raised in Hawera, a small town located in South Taranaki. As a child, I grew up loving nature and animals alike. I have a huge interest in the environment around me - particularly trying to make a difference in the conservation efforts around New Zealand. My favorite hobbies include photography, fishkeeping and of course, art. 

My journey as an artist began around 8 months ago, when I was 15 years old. I had done a small painting, inspired by my pet Siamese Fighting Fish. I posted this painting in a few of the worldwide tropical fishkeeping forums that I am a part of, not really expecting anything from it. My notifications exploded almost immediately with people commenting on how much they enjoyed the piece. 

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Levin Adventure Park Mural

A huge colourful mural has transformed the wall at Levin Adventure Park’s northern border.

At a ceremony to celebrate the mural’s completion last Thursday, Horowhenua Deputy Mayor Garry Good described it as a 300 square-metre landmark piece of beautiful artwork. “From Council’s perspective, it’s the most amazing mural in New Zealand. You won’t see anything like it in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, anywhere. We’ve set a standard with this here in Horowhenua,” Mr Good said.

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Paige Williams

PAIGE WILLIAMS

I’m Paige, 19, and have just recently made the massive decision to withdraw from University to pursue a professional career in painting and illustration. It was the hardest decision to make. I was studying to get myself into some aspect of the gaming industry, however, the longer I studied, the more I felt like this wasn’t the place for me. 

With the support of my friends and family, I am now trying to make a name for myself in the art world. I have a website at www.paigeyleigh.com and already have a small following on my Facebook page “Paigey-Leigh” where I get a lot of amazing feedback and encouragement that I’m going in the right direction.

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Mille Dunstall

My dead uncle-mille-dunstall-aotearoa-artistBorn in 2000, Mille is another youth artist who is proving that this century is producing excellent artists. With one sibling, Mille’s family isn’t particularly artistic. “I’m kind of the odd one out”, she says.

Waihi College have Mille’s attendance and she has decided to take art this year, planning to get into a graphic design course in the future. From the looks of what she is producing thus far, we believe graphic design would definitely be the way for Mille to go. It might be worth Mille’s while to investigate illustration as well, a noble, well established art form.

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Natasha Bethune

natasha-bethune-aotearoa-artistTHE ART OF INNER HEALING

At the age of 18, Natasha Bethune tells us of her hardships and how she is devoted to her art and the healing she receives from creating.

Drawing is all that I’ve ever known - as a kid it’s all that I remember doing. My heart aches thinking about pursuing anything other than art. I love being alone in nature. Any place of solitude, that forces me to think and feel whilst listening to deep emotional music that conjures memories and beautiful desires of ‘what if’s and I wishes’.

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Simon Lundqvist

Simon Lundqvist-aotearoa-artistPATIENCE, PERSERVERANCE AND TALENT

One of Simon Lundqvist’s obstacles was to overcome spending some time in a wheelchair after an accident and having to relearn how to walk. “It was a really horrible experience, but I got through it, and in retrospect the whole thing taught me a lot of patience and perseverance. Now the only thing I have left from that ordeal is a very characteristic gait, and a different outlook on life really.”

This left Simon Lundqvist experiencing difficulty with concentration and a lot of free time on his hands. He became obsessed with drawing and sketching, finding he could focus on this and it made him feel better. “I think that single-mindedness really helped me to learn and develop. Ever since childhood I have been infatuated the idea of being an artist and this has grown stronger over time. I’m just really in love with the process of painting and I can think of nothing better than spending my days making art.”

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Ross Anderson

ross-anderson-aotearoa-artistPHOTOGRAPHIC SURREALISM

Ross Anderson, a 17 year old photographer born in Northern Ireland, raised in the Northern Rivers of Australia and attended ACG Senior College in Auckland for the last two years, just completed his high school studies with a cracking 92% for his photographic art. This is his story.

I opted for photography due to lack of other options as despite being a high scoring student, my almost illegible hand writing caused me to achieve less than favourable scores in classical studies.

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Jade Knight

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IT'S IN THE EYES

Educated at St Joseph’s primary school in Auckland and Pompallier Catholic College in Whangarei, 19 year-old Jade Knight is currently completing the first year of a three-year bachelor of art and design degree through The Learning Connexion in Wellington.

Jade, who is studying via correspondence, says when she has finished this course, her intention is to follow through with a two-year masters degree in art therapy: “I have a passion for not only art but also working with people so becoming an art therapist will not only allow me to pursue my passion for art but also help people of all ages and walks of life.

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Honor Hamlet

grandad-3-honor-hamlet-aotearoa-artistHONOR HAMLET

Honor Hamlet, a student at Haunui College, Whangarei, completed her high-school career by achieving the best marks in the world while her friend and fellow art student Reka Norman came in with an outstanding 95% pass.

Honor, (17) who only took up art seriously in her last two years of high school, is now a full-time student at Elam School of Fine Arts, Auckland.

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