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.

Student assignment brightens up campus

Student assignment brightens up campus

Visual arts student Eliza Webster painted a mural on a campus wall as part of her Audience Message Context assignment for semester 1, using stencil and spraypaints.

The image is a contemporary synthetic cubist-style portrait, says Eliza, aiming to brighten up the dark corner and present a form of high art in a public format outside of the gallery context. The size emphasises the street art nature of the mural idea and shows a mix of genres. Watch a time lapse video of the work’s creation below, taken by Paul Nelson.

Painting student selected for Thai exhibition

Painting student selected for Thai exhibition
Yok's sister at the bangkok exhibition with the painting
Yok’s sister at the Bangkok exhibition with the painting

Painting and Sculpture student Yok Hickmott recently had her work ‘Dynamic Polymer’ selected for an exhibition in Thailand. Yok is completing the Bachelor of Media Arts at Wintec, and is in her second year of study.

Her aim is to become a primary school art teacher and writer.

Yok with some photography work.
Yok with her photography work.

The exhibition took place in Bangkok, Thailand from November 19-25, at the Thailand Creative Design Centre. It showcased Thai students who are studying or have graduated from design, art, information technology or engineering related tertiary or secondary programmes and examples of their work.

Tattooing takes Ali around the world

Tattooing takes Ali around the world

ali_selliman Tattoo artist and illustrator Ali Selliman enjoys how his job can carry him to different cultures. Consequently, hundreds of people around the world now sport unique artwork by one of Hamilton’s finest.

When we contacted Ali, he was on a 6 month working trip as a guest artist at various tattoo studios around South East Asia. Usually based in Hamilton, he’s recently been tattooing in Singapore, Manila, Borneo, Malaysia, and Indonesia.

His regular day involves a lot of different elements. “Just trying to work out a design with a stranger could be the hardest thing,” he says. “But you learn to work together and give them your advice.”

While Ali has worked extensively on murals and other illustration projects, both with the Underwater Collective and individually, the regular process of tattooing remains his career highlight.

ali_selliman_artAli specialised in painting and sculpture during his Bachelor of Media Arts (Visual Arts) study. His favourite aspect of the degree was the flexibility within assignments – being free to drive
the direction of a project, while having the ‘backup’ of tutors. He also values the connections that were made along the way.

“Going through Media Arts and meeting like-minded people there is what made me ME today.”

Ali’s aim for the future is to work and settle down in his favourite city, Hamilton – “perhaps after a few more ‘half-year working trips’.”




Maori and Pacific Island art exhibition

Tatai Whetu // Star Clusters is a collaborative exhibition of contemporary artworks by past and present Maori & Pacific Island Wintec Media Arts students.

The exhibition is a mixture of works that explore Maori & Pacifika themes and concepts acknowledging the past, present and the future.

An opening night will launch this exhibition on Thursday 28 April 2011 from 5:30pm at Artspost Gallery at 120 Victoria Street.

The exhibition runs from Friday 29th April through to Monday 6th June and is open for public viewing between 10am- 4.30pm daily.

Tatai Whetu is running as a lead up to Matariki.

For more information check out the Artspost Gallery website.

Graduate Scott Powell wins WSA award

2010 Media arts graduate and local artist Scott Powell was the recepient of a merit award at the New Zealand Painting and Printmaking Awards held at the opening night of the Hamilton Gardens Arts Festival.

The 23-year-old graduated from Wintec after completing a Bachelor of Media Arts (Fine arts) in painting and sculpture.

The acrylic work titled Interculture took Scott four days to complete, and ironically he had the name and direction of the piece before he started the artwork.

He wants people to form their own opinion on what his artwork resembles and means to them.

“I have an intention, but you can’t tell people what you want them to get out if it, they have to experience it for themselves”

Since completing his degree, he has been focusing his attention on performance art, saying that it reaches a wider audience, because art galleries aren’t appealing to all groups of people.

Scott is working to support his passions at the moment, however he says he is realistic about making a living from art.