Freelance Editor, Māori Television / Rangatahi Film Workshop Facilitator, Māoriland Charitable Trust
Bachelor of Art and Design (Honours) with First Class Honours
Bachelor of Visual Arts
Art has been a strength of hers from a young age, says Aydriannah Tuiali’I who completed a Bachelor of Visual Arts specialising in sculpture.
“I’ve always enjoyed expressing my creativity freely through hands-on making, whether it was painting, drawing or building. I knew I wanted to pursue art and become an artist.”
Deciding where to go to university was easy for her.
“I chose to study at AUT because I had heard that AUT encourages and prioritises practical and kinetic learning; creating a more engaging and hands-on experience for all students.”
An innovative learning environment
She appreciated the learning environment at AUT, says Aydriannah whose studies were supported by an AUT Vice-Chancellor’s Scholarship and a Tuakana/Teina Postgraduate Scholarship in Community Leadership and Excellence in Art and Design.
“I admire that AUT prioritises practical learning; presenting students with many opportunities to showcase artworks within the school and also externally via student-run spaces, galleries, community groups and artist collectives.
“I also liked that there are opportunities for students to broaden their creative perspectives by studying courses outside of their comfort zones. Including minors like Urban Practices, Temporary Practices, Motion Capture or Cinematic Arts encourages students to experience art-making from a different lens. This provides students not only with a wider range of creative knowledge, but also a wider range of career opportunities and collaborations post-study.”
What she remembers most fondly about her time at AUT were the connections she made.
“The biggest highlights from my time at AUT were the friendships that were made with students, lecturers, mentors and artists. Programmes like Talk Week, pilot shows and the annual end-of-year art and design showcase are opportunities for students as emerging artists to network and engage with established artists, curators and mentors. I was able to graduate from AUT with connections to various employment opportunities.”
An inspiring journey
After graduating in 2017, Aydriannah now splits her time between working as a freelance editor for Te Ao Māori News at Māori Television, and facilitating film workshops for the Māoriland Charitable Trust.
“Working at Māori TV involves working alongside producers and reporters to cut and edit news stories for Te Ao Māori News. Being surrounded by fluent reo Māori speakers has helped me a lot to understand and become familiar with the language. It’s empowering as a Māori woman to hear co-workers speak Māori to each other in the workplace.
“At Māoriland I facilitate filmmaking workshops for young people from primary school to university. From teaching rangatahi about narrative writing and storyboarding, to understanding the many roles that support the making of a film, our job is to encourage young people to start a conversation and collaborate through the creative arts. Working with Māoriland has also encouraged me to pursue my own journey towards learning more about my Māori side and our indigenous world.”
She has also had a number of successful exhibitions and projects since graduating from AUT.
“My moving image work Kōwhai screened at multiple film festivals and exhibitions, including at the Māngere Art Centre, Arts Out East, Mason’s Screen Project, Sanderson Contemporary Gallery, Māoriland Film Festival and the Wairoa Māori Film Festival 2019. I’ve also tried my luck as the set designer for the shows Maumahara Girlie and Ngā Puke. Though I’m so grateful for the many career opportunities that have come about since graduating from AUT, I’m most proud of my personal growth since my time at AUT.”
Advice for other students
Aydriannah’s advice for other students is simple: network, network, network.
“Make time to go out and be present within the community. Go to art shows, go to artist talks, events, seminars, the lot. Being able to share your ideas, your journey and your stories with other like-minded creatives can lead to collaborations, new friendships and new and exciting career opportunities.”
She also suggests making your lunch at home and bringing it to uni.
“Even if you get FOMO and all your friends are buying their lunch or dinner, don’t do it. I’ve had to learn it the hard way… Just bring lunch from home, and you’ll be the one with an extra few hundred dollars in your bank account at the end of the semester.”