“Whitecliffe helped me find the time to turn creativity into a sustainable practice. Today I create performance art, digital video and still photography; I also draw, paint and create with indigenous fibres,” declares MFA graduate Tawhanga Nopera (formerly Richard Kereopa).
Although Tawhanga always wanted to be an artist, he initially trained as a primary school teacher to learn how to structure his thinking to make his art educative. He then undertook a MFA at Whitecliffe, which led to a full time teaching role at an art school and supervision work on Whitecliffe’s MFA programme.
Tawhanga is now based in Canada and the United States, working on a PHD with Creative Practice through the University of Waikato.
He says the creative problem solving skills he developed during postgraduate study at Whitecliffe have been significant.
“When I think about the work I want to create, no matter how ‘big’ it seems, I know the process that will most likely work best for me.”