Warkworth painter, printmaker and sculptor Ursula Christel currently has an exhibition in the Mokopōpaki gallery in Auckland’s Karangahape Road, which celebrates diversity, inclusion and accessibility.
It’s precisely these qualities that Ursula aims to bring to her new role as artist-in-residence at Horizon School, starting next year.
Rather than lecturing, students will watch and learn as Ursula practices her art in a studio at the school.
She says it will be much more like working alongside a car mechanic in his or her workshop – and fits with the school’s real-life learning approach.
Along with guiding students, Ursula will continue to pursue her own art projects as a practical, working craftswoman.
“I’m not going to have the status of a teacher. I’m going to be present as a human-being and an artist,” she says.
Ursula’s goal will be to help students feel comfortable in the studio, as opposed to them feeling judged or marked.
She says it will be about exploration and experimentation, getting to know each other and learning about each other’s strengths and developing them.
“It’s a very practical approach and it’s really human. It’s about reconnecting with students with more equal status,” she says.
Ursula’s exhibition at Mokopōpaki gallery is called Mother Love: He Oha nā Te Whaea (a gift from mother) and runs until October 13.