Art In the Library #2
02 August 2013
Art in the Library
Breens Intermediate and Gavin Britt, The Creation Myth, c.1985, UC/CCE/268
Location: Education Library, Level 1, Māori collections area
This mural was created by students from Breens Intermediate under the guidance of art teacher Gavin Britt, with the assistance of George Edwards (Ngāi Tahu) and Cath Brown (Ngāi Tahu). The mural, made from carved wood, raffia weaving and acrylic on board, depicts Tāne-mahuta separating Papa and Rangi. There are several more of these murals on display around the Dovedale campus, the themes for them often based on stories and legends told to Britt by Rima Bell of Tuahiwi.
Gavin Britt grew up in Christchurch and trained as a primary school teacher at Christchurch Teachers College. After meeting Cath Brown (an expert Ngāi Tahu weaver and one of the most highly respected Māori artists in New Zealand), Britt developed an interest in art and he took on roles as an art teacher at Cobham Intermediate and Breens Intermediate, as well as working for the advisory service. In schools, he developed a style of working collaboratively with students and other adults on murals and carvings which used Māori mythology for inspiration. He also employed traditional craft techniques such as whakairo (carving) and tukutuku (lattice-work) in contemporary media. Britt is now retired, but continues to give guest lectures and workshops. Britt also has an interest in Māori musical instruments, which he makes and plays.
Breens Intermediate and Gavin Britt, Untitled [Tāne-mahuta and Tangaroa], c.1985, UC/CCE/273
Location: Dovedale Otakaro, Corridor Level 1