Ella takes out top award

Talent Year 10 artist Ella Niwa has received top honours in the Waiheke Youth Arts Awards for her cleverly designed cloak.

There were more than 200 entries in the competition, held in early November. Ella took out both the Rotary Waiheke Youth Art Award for Excellence and the Toi Gallery Award for Māori Art with her stunning hand dyed harakeke ‘He Korowai tauawhi i ngā tangata katoa – A cloak that embraces everyone’.

The maturity of her work and the conceptual richness behind it made this art piece stand out to the judges.

Here’s what Ella said about her award-winning piece:

“The plait represents the umbilical cord, it shows everyone comes from the same place and is equal in the beginning. The strands are all the individual people that are transitioning through life’s stages (changing colours black, blue, green). The shiny strands are for those who are deemed different and face challenges with the way society is accepting of them. They are choosing a different path in life. The cloak itself is the awhi we need to provide to support one another. The 3 feathers are a link back to my iwi – Te Ati Awa – and represent Te Whiti idealism of peace/non-violence, something we can always strive for more of in this world. Dedicated to my youngest brother.”

Congratulations Ella! We look forward to seeing your future work.