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Student story

Jamie TeHeuheu

20 July 2023

Ngāti Tūwharetoa

"I enjoy that my studio practice is largely self-directed..."


(Ngāti Tūwharetoa)

Bachelor of Fine Arts in Painting

"What matters in my practice is not what a work "means", but what emerges from the process of producing it. I explore how different materials and applied processes can evoke varied moods and feelings, while leaving room for the viewer to bring their own experiences and feelings to the work," Jamie says of his studies towards becoming a professional artist.

Since his final year of high school, Jamie has wanted to make painting into his career. With advice and persuasion by his arts teacher, a former UC Fine Arts student, Jamie enrolled at UC with an Undergraduate Entrance Scholarship to begin his formal Fine Arts training.

"I enjoyed Ilam's studio spaces, and the art-related resources provided by the Macmillan Brown Library and the Central Library," he says. "My advice would be to go to the open days. Get to know the environment and meet the lecturers, staff, and students. Keep an open mind, it'll help discover new interests."

Being able to focus on Painting as his specialist studio subject has allowed him to better develop his skills, and be even more engaged with his degree programme.

"I enjoy that my studio practice is largely self-directed, that I have freedom to do what I want to do in my discipline, and I know that if I get lost along the way that I can always talk to the lecturers for critical advice.

"I also enjoy being surrounded by other students, the late-night discussions we have. I enjoy seeing them grow and develop their own practices while I am developing my own."

One way Jamie recommends to develop an understanding of the practice is to get involved with the local arts scene, and forge relationships with other artists. On campus, Jamie is a member of SKUB (School of Fine Arts student club) to collaborate with other Fine Arts students, and outside of university studies he makes a point of going to as many art shows in the city as he can.

"Doing this, I am able to get engaged with the community and better my practice at the same time."

Jamie's passion for his art has been recognised with a Bickerton-Widdowson Trust Memorial Scholarship and a Grant Lingard Scholarship, for his academic results.

"I am grateful for the opportunities these scholarships have given me," he says.

Ultimately, Jamie advises future Fine Arts students to keep challenging themselves to make the experience more productive and worth it.

"Be distinctive, be yourself. Make good art."

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