Mark Peter – Student Profile

Mark Peter – Student Profile

Mark Peter has been a Media Art student for four years. In that time he’s developed skills in design, motion graphics, painting and sculpture to name a few.

Mark was a recipient of the Prime Minister’s Scholarship for Asia and spent five months in China attending Chengdu University as part of Wintecs’ tertiary exchange programme. Mark says his experience in China regularly influences his creative practice – he’s inspired by Chinese culture, architecture and the city’s prolific construction.

His work combines a set of ideas that explore shape, line and distortion using a variety of standard, readily available materials. Mark is submitting his final body of work for his Media Arts Degree and ending on a high note with his exhibition, “A Rhombus Is My Favourite Crooked Square,” showing at SkinRoom Gallery. (Open 20-22 June)


You received the Prime Minister’s Scholarship for Asia to attend Chengdu University in China last year, can you tell us what you did there and the length of the student exchange?
I was in China for five months, and there were six of us. We were students of Chengdu University in their Design and Art centre. There were Chinese language classes that we also attended. The hardest thing for me was keeping up with the busy schedule at the school, and there was a class every day. We worked alongside Chinese students, who focused on a lot of digital art, illustration, product and print based design.

How did you find the tutors at Chengdu University, was the language barrier a challenge?
The teachers did help us, they took us on field trips and took us to see local artists. One teacher was an award winning local artist, well known in the province, it was pretty cool to be taught by her. We took Chinese language classes so that helped with the language barrier.

Where did you stay when you were attending Chengdu University?
We got lucky, and we stayed in these teachers apartments that were in a 30 story building. It was neat to experience living in an entirely different way. The architecture and housing are completely different to New Zealand’s.


Your trip to Chengdu University in China marked a turning point in the way you have been making art, can you describe how that came about?
I was messing around with what little materials I had, paper and cheap acrylics. I started playing around with mark making using one continuous line, and the Chengdu University tutors liked it.
The work in this show (A Rhombus Is My Favourite Crooked Square) is the first body of work that has been inspired by my surroundings. When I was visiting China, I was alarmed with the continuous construction happening over there. Everywhere we went there was construction, building, loud hammering and development. I liked that I was drawing inspiration from my environment and not by using an artist model.

It started with this idea of objects and distorting the perspective, is it square or is it not square?

From the works on paper I began experimenting with objects and changing the perspective, is it square or is it not square? If I can distort this in the painting, then I can modify the frame as well. I had a set of ideas that continuously had me exploring different ways of working and using different materials. How much can I warp this to turn this into a new shape? During the process, none of my canvases matched up, but I embraced the organic process of making which has ended up with some surprising outcomes where some delicate curves in the canvas have formed.

What is the most memorable experience you have taken away from your student exchange trip to China?
It’s always difficult to pinpoint the ‘yay’ moment; I think the most challenging thing was the travel, you have to plan your day thoroughly beforehand to get from one space to another, this is something I learnt the hard way! At the end of our study, we had a week to explore, and I planned a trip to fly to another city by myself to visit a friend I had met in Chengdu. Yeah, you’ve got to be early, I missed both my flights there and back, it was a learning curve. But luckily at this point, I had enough Chinese vocabulary to order food and find my way around. The surprising thing to me was that a lot of Chinese locals new basic English they helped me out a lot.

Would you recommend other students to embark on a student exchange to Chengdu University?

Totally, everyone should do it! It gets you out of your comfort zone. I loved it, it was cool – but prepare for loud jackhammers through the night. During my first week back from China in Hamilton, everything seemed so small and quiet.

You submitted your last project for your Media Arts Degree, can you tell us what’s next? Have you come to the end of this Rhombus idea?
No never, never. New clay works are in the mix, the clay, terracotta work in this show sold instantly, so I am going to develop more work of this nature. I would love to consider myself as part of the creative boost that is happening in Hamilton right now. Things are happening and changing here, and it’s exciting to be a part of that.

A Rhombus Is My Favourite Crooked Square by Mark Peter
Open 20 June until 22 June
Skinroom Gallery
Level 1, 123 Commerce Street, Frankton, Hamilton

Big thanks to Mark for meeting with us to discuss his creative practice and experience at Chengdu University, China. We wish you all the best Mark, and we look forward to seeing what you create next!

Find out more about the Chengdu University student exchange experience with Wintec here.

Inspired by Marks creative journey? Read more about studying at Media Arts Wintec here.



Wintec is privileged to be the benefactor of Olivia Mead’s Honours Project as part of her Bachelor of Media Arts (Hons) in Communication.

‘EmergeEmergent Cover Imagent’ showcases some of Wintec’s finest creative writing pieces. Researching massive quantities of writing, Olivia has compiled a great treasure of past works, and sets a course for future writers that enables their work to be showcased in an esteemed way.

Thanks to Gail Pittaway and Cate Prestige for their guidance on the project and also in supporting Olivia advance her studies and career.

To purchase a copy of the book, please email:

Our Journalism students do change our world!

Our Journalism students do change our world!

Its clear that our students’ hold great passion when they first enrol at the School of Media Arts, and its very rewarding for us to see their skills honed over their time with us. Check out some of our stunner graduate works as featured in the Waikato Independent.

Our students don’t only feature here, but also write and maintain this great news resource. With quotes such as the below, we look forward to them shaping tomorrow’s headlines for the better.

Please click on the images below to go to the full article.


Feature Journalism Students

2016 Graduate Showcase Exhibitions

2016 Graduate Showcase Exhibitions

Its that time of year again, when we get to showcase our amazing students and the pieces they have relentlessly worked on all year.

All are invited to attend the exhibition series:  Listen to some meticulously molded soundscapes, absorb some detailed imagery, be drawn in to the passionate stroke of a pen (or charcoal or digital tablet).

Please join us in celebrating their success. All events are free.


Music Performances: Clarence St Theatre | 15-18 November | 7pm

He Pō Whakanui (Māori & Pasifika Student Exhibition): Te Kōpu Mānia Marae, Wintec | 18 & 21 November | 10am-2pm

Moving Image: Events Room 1 & 2, Wintec | 21 November | 6.30pm

Photography Exhibition: P Block, Wintec | 24 November | 5.30pm

Graphic Design & Interior Design Exhibition: R Block, Wintec | 24 November | 5.30pm

Painting & Sculpture Exhibition: Building X, Wintec | 24 November | 5.30pm

For more information, follow our Facebook event page, or email us at

Graduate success at Canon Media Awards

Graduate success at Canon Media Awards
Don Rowe. Image by Clinton Tudor.
Don Rowe. Image by Clinton Tudor.

Wintec journalism graduates were well represented in the 2015 Canon Media Awards. Don Rowe won ‘Student Journalist of the Year’ at Saturday’s Canon Awards, and classmate Donna-Lee Biddle was one of the two runners up. Harkanwal Singh won as part of the NZ Herald team in both ‘Best Innovation in Multimedia Storytelling’ and ‘Best Use of Interactive Graphics’.

This is the fourth year running that Wintec graduates have featured in the finals of Student Journalist of the Year, after winning in 2012 and 2013 and having a finalist in 2014.

Alumni featured in other categories also. Florence Kerr (2007 graduate) at the Waikato Times won ‘Regional Reporter of the Year’; and Ben Stanley (2008 graduate) won ‘Newspaper Feature Writer – Sport’.

Head of the School of Media Arts Margi Moore said the consistent results were excellent, and a credit to the both the graduates and the Media Arts’ journalism teaching team.

Naomi Johnston

Naomi Johnston

Based in Hamilton, Naomi Johnston decided on Wintec as the stand-out institution for photography and media arts study. “I have always been a creative person and felt now was the time to get a degree.”  She has particularly enjoyed the teachers and support at Media Arts, as well as the accessible location. “We’re right in the middle of the culture of Hamilton and the arts scene.”

Gaining the skills to negotiate collaborative group projects has proved particularly valuable. Although Naomi is still a third-year student, she is already established as a magazine editor.  Blacklisted is an arts, culture and fashion magazine she started up after the 2013 Spark Festival. “I am hoping that one day it becomes a nationally recognized arts and fashion magazine that impacts our culture and gives artists of all levels a platform to springboard off.”

In the future Naomi would also love to work as a photographer in the commercial fashion and beauty industry. “I think there is a lot of room to develop the commercial scene here in New Zealand and a lot of talent to fish for! I would also like to start a shared studio space in Hamilton somewhere near the city.”

Blacklisted – &

Five Media Arts graduates in Canon Media Awards finalists.

Five Media Arts graduates in Canon Media Awards finalists.
Donna Lee Biddle, pictured during her undergraduate study at Wintec
Donna-Lee Biddle, pictured during her undergraduate study at Wintec

Media Arts graduates are well-represented in the 2015 Canon Media Awards finalists.

Wintec journalists have scored two out of the three finalist spots in the Canon Media Awards Student Reporter of the Year – Donna-Lee Biddle (Wintec/Waikato Times) and Don Rowe (Wintec/Sky Sport Magazine/Waikato Times). Wintec students have featured consistently in this category, with Jonathan Carson and Jenna Lynch winning it in 2012 and 2013 respectively.

Nick Reed, now at the NZ Herald, is nominated in Junior Photographer of the Year’ for his work at the Waikato Times, and photographer Alan Gibson is up for Best Portrait and Best Photo-Essay or Slideshow. Harkanwal Singh has been nominated for Best Interactive Graphics, and as part of the NZ Herald team for Best Innovation in Multimedia Storytelling.

The 2015 Canon Media Awards will be announced on Friday 22nd May at Sky City Convention Centre.