Using Assemblage Sculpture as a Cultural Convention and Communal Art Work

So I went to this whole day presentation by the Manaia Kalani group pitching to our school cluster to be an outreach programme. There were parts that I really enjoyed in relation to my classroom practice with little reference to elearning.

One part was that of a breakdown of how the Treaty can be viewed in relation to good practice. A break down;

Manaakitanga - is a collective consideration, derived from the word 'Mana'. Mana being the prestigious holding of power and authority whilst in service of others.

Rangatiratanga - collective control, the application of Mana.

So in my previous struggle to figure out how the Treaty of Waitangi can be made a little bit more meaningful in how we do what we do and why, I feel like this suddenly helps me see the links in using relational practice, discursive practice and how it all fits together in Modern Learning Pedagogy.

At year 12 and 13, we are working towards creating a communal sculpture assemblage-based. Our issue is shelter, our media is found materials, our intention is to create a base muse that students can work from as a muse in drawing out their folio concept.


Alice Aycock                                     Anthony Caro
"Twin Vortexes"                               "Duccio Variations No 1"

The collective consideration is that it needs to allow for all of the students participating. This is already meaning that we need to adjust the materials we will use; the humanity aspect of shelter is making it hard for some students to see it as not figurative. So in allowing for this, we need to consider introducing less abstract elements. Tree forms, body parts (mannekins), chains, barbed wire. All of these will need to be considered in making sure we take into account manaakitanga.

We have a strong emphasis on positive and negative space,, the latter being something that could be used as active (Aycock) or passive (Caro) space. Though the Duccio Variations is not typical of Caro's work, It's a nice image in reference to shelter.

In making something work that helps incorporate a couple of our student's less abstract needs (literally two of them), we could use sheets of MDF to cut out silhouettes of forms, or shadows of figures that describe what these students feel they need.

There is also clearly a need to re-iterate what the assessment is actually all about; collaboration to make art as a cultural convention. Not being able to collaborate or see past their own needs might likewise be something I need to address for the greater good of the groups; the point of running term one like this was to break down this inability to work together that quite frankly exists within groups in the senior classes, for the good of each other. So while I must address the need for manaakitanga, I also need to restate our intentions as a class/department.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. It is wonderful how there are eternal truths which are applicable in every sphere of life and as far as I can tell the bedrock of all these truths is seeing and valuing the paradox of both our common humanity and individuality.

  2. Thank you for such an eloquent response, after all of that! I very much appreciate that you read the post :-) Interestingly for me is that once I had really processed all of this, as I wrote it, I planned out how I was going to manage this classroom situation. Once I put it back to the students why we are doing this and how it's beneficial on so many levels, we made progress. Together, through my mind shifting as to what I could still consider assemblage in order to take their learning into account, as well as their further willingness to see how this is not going to be a barrier to their overall achievement and individuality in the class, it all seems to have worked out. So far. Bring on Monday.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

PLD with John Parsons