Over the last few months, amongst other things, I have been working on some illustrations that will be printed on to solid wood jigsaws and sold as a fundraising initiative for my youngest son's kindy, Maungaarangi in Welcome Bay, Tauranga.
My son Cruz has attended the Kindy for the last year. In that time he has thrived in the care of the teachers and both he and our whole family feel a sense of belonging and connection to the place, the families that attend and of course the Kaiako there.
When Whaea Jenelle first approached me many months ago to ask me if i would be interested in illustrating some purukau, I was excited at the prospect and inspired by the fact that many of the stories had in fact never been interpreted in to illustrations before. Without preconcieved ideas on what things had to look like I could really get creative!
The Maori culture is rich with legends and it is in the retelling of these stories that values, memories, feelings and ideas are passed on to children in a way that is entertaining and enjoyable. It is my hope that the jigsaws produced will help as a visual aid for this purpose.
The purukau that we have focused on for the jigsaws were specifically chosen by Maungaarangi to support their teaching of core principles or Pou, and some are special to the local Iwi. Just as an example, the children have recently been learning about Rata and the Waka. This legend is all about connection to the land, taking responsibility for your actions, asking permission and learning from mistakes, The legend of Te Pura and her eggs is all about forgiveness.
I have completed the seven illustrations and look forward to seeing the completed jigsaws. The prototypes I have seen look fantastic and hopefully will be for sale in time for Christmas 2016. All proceeds from the jigsaws will go directly to the Kindergarten so please show your support by purchasing one or the entire set. The jigsaws will be best suited for preschool age children and I would love to see them being utilised in these facilities.