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Michel Tuffery is a New Zealand-based artist of Samoan, Rarotongan and Ma’ohi Tahitian heritage. His work draws on his Pacific island heritage and ranges from printmaking, posters, woodcuts and lithography to sculpture, set design and performance pieces. Of his art he says, ‘My kaupapa within my art practice is the role of working “in between” as a connector by placing a fresh lens on environmental, community, cultural and art historical divides.’ More of his story and his art can be found on his website. Also on Facebook and Twitter: @MichelTuffery.

2017 Saatchi Gallery London

During Michel’s 2016 Artist in Residence at Samuel Marsden Collegiate, Wellington he created an accessible collaborative artwork with year 7 & 8 students. The outcome was this beautiful Matariki-inspired artwork unique to the Pacific. ‘Matariki – Māori New Year’ won two awards: the Primary section plus the overall award from over 24,000 entries from 66 countries.

2018 Wild Creations CNZ/DoC Reseach Study

From the artist: ‘This project is close to my heart. I’ve always taken the view everything is connected, and that strongly comes through in my art. Being awarded one of three 2018 Wild Creations fellowships, a CNZ & DOC joint program has enabled me to undertake field research into an area of huge interest to me personally. Pelagic Birds beyond Fanua is a program that places me front and centre with key DOC staff and specialists in Marine Science and Ecology. My observations are focussed to Taiaroa Head and Te Punga o Te Waka a Maui Stewart Island. The community engagement is equally a key part of the process and this collaborative work created with Maori and Pasifika students from St Hilda’s Collegiate in Dunedin poised for a great exchange.’

2018 Nga Kete Sculpture Commission

From the artist: ‘It was an honour to submit my proposal and it is humbling that Nga Kete will be created for Otago Polytech Te Kura Matatini ki Otago and the wider Dunedin community. I attended art school in Dunedin, and I feel honoured to have this special piece ‘Nga Kete’ permanently positioned for all in this community to embrace. I liken Nga Kete to a midden, a natural layering of metaphors weaving the kaupapa of the traditional, environmental and cultural with community and history. Nga Kete will serve as a reminder to those who enter the institution shall leave having filled their kete with the knowledge required to carry oneself forward.”