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 background and artistic strengths in an advertising campaign for one of Te Papa’s collections.
Eight students from Taita College worked with Te Papa and Wellington advertising agency VMLY & R to create posters for the museum Online collections.
It was part of VMLY & R Te Ara Mahi work 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 the works in the collection and help create the posters, which were on display around Lower Hutt in October and November.
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Grade 13 student Vika Tupou said his poster Turtle was a tribute to natural taonga and its culture.
“The turtle is symbolic in Polynesia, and it was culturally linked 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 will 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 that stuff. I do graffiti in my spare time, and that’s what attracts me. Friends and family would; they took me and I looked at them. I thought, I wanted to do this.
Te Papa’s online collections contain nearly 800,000 works of art, objects and taonga stored in the museum’s collections.
This is the first time Te Papa has worked with students on this campaign, and Marketing Manager Bridgette Yates said the collaboration was an opportunity to connect with Maori, Pasifika and a younger audience.
“The process has 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 connections to the community and the tools to see them thrive. “
VMLY & R and Te Papa intend to continue the internship program.
Agency customer service manager Belinda James said the work experience program was designed to provide hands-on mentoring to young people, so they can see a future in the ad agency.
“It’s also invaluable to us because we learn so much from them.”