Cora-Allan Wickliffe

Cora-Allan Wickliffe

Artist / Curator and Exhibitions Manager, Corban Estate Arts Centre
Master of Art and Design
Graduate Diploma in Secondary Teaching
Bachelor of Visual Arts

Ngāpuhi, Tainui, Alofi/Liku

Using her skills to help revive a Pacific artform has been one of the highpoints in her career as an artist, says Cora-Allan Wickliffe, a multidisciplinary artist of Māori and Niue descent whose work often focuses on indigenous people.

“A highlight in my career so far has been my successful attempt to revive the artform of Hiapo, Niuean tapa. I’ve been able to share my works as far as London, Australia, Niue and throughout the Auckland region. I’m looking forward to showing a new large piece at the Vancouver Art Gallery next month.

“The revival of Hiapo has meant that my family and the Niuean community can feel its presence once again. It means the next generation of children will know and have a history with it, which my grandparents and our generation missed out on.”

Art in the heart of West Auckland
As well as being a practising artist, Cora-Allan is also the curator and exhibitions manager at the Corban Estate Arts Centre in Henderson.

“What I love most about my work are the people, and the challenge of designing a gallery programme for our community. I have much to learn and what I love about the gallery is the space to learn and grow.”

She says she frequently draws on the skills she developed during her studies at AUT.

“I’m able to continue using the skills I learned from my first year onwards, even though having multiple roles within the creative sector has helped. I’m currently also learning the balance between working, being an artist and raising a young family.

“AUT enabled me to find a home in a sense that I come back to the university to assist, talk and take part in anything going on. You find lifelong connections within the arts faculty which help to sustain you after university. That is really hard to find when you’re in the real world.”

A community of artists
She loved the visual arts community at AUT, says Cora-Allan who completed her master’s degree in 2014.

“The highlights of my studies were the visual arts community at AUT, having the ability to be flexible within the creative arts and the fact that the photography lab was close by. The environment at AUT is set up to enable students to explore, test and trial, and it’s a very student-focused environment.”

The academic staff also impressed her, Cora-Allan says.

“Associate Professor Monique Redmond and Natalie Robertson were inspirational and I really enjoyed being under mana wahine leadership. I also found that the academic staff go out of their way to stay connected via Instagram and email, which is amazing and you never lose touch with AUT.

“A highlight of being out of art school is that I get to work alongside my old lecturers. In my position as curator our paths often cross and it’s exciting being able to show them how I’m putting into practice all the knowledge they shared during my time at uni.”

The Master of Art and Design has been replaced by the Master of Visual Arts.