Studio and workshop areas at the Dunedin School of Art - a look behind the scenes from 2015.
See this flickr gallery for a snap shot of life at the Dunedin School of Art

Student Profiles and Testimonials

Ted Whittaker MFA

“My work is a collision of old and new technologies. I blend retro consumer electronics with contemporary technologies in a process of communication to multi-generations, who each simply have a device relationship”.

Ted came to the Dunedin School of Art from high school and completed a BVA with a major in Electronic Arts in 2012. Ted works across a range of media utilizing  video, photography, animation, virtual reality applications and publishes one-off thematic journals. Ted’s abiding interest is in the intersections between current digital technologies and the history of technology itself.  Ted has recently completed a six month student exchange with The Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design in Prague in the Czech Republic where he sourced material for new work for exhibitions in Prague and Dunedin. He is currently completing his MFA in Electronic Arts with an exhibition scheduled for the beginning of 2016.

Ted Whitaker


Bob Mitchell Bachelor of Visual Arts (Honours) 2015

At 75 Bob has lived 3 times longer than most of his art student peers. Bob was forced to abandon his primary occupation as a chef due to a gradual development of profound deafness. After channelling his abundant energy into triathlon through the 80’s Bob eventually segued into art studies through Kings’ art programme and subsequently following his daughter Kiri’s journey through the Dunedin School of Art. Being aware of the relative brevity of his remaining years, Bob’s work is driven by a hugely energetic work ethic. His work is figurative and typically humorous in an Antipodean, self-deprecatory mode. Bob’s unrestrained support for his fellow student’s work makes him a welcome and active contributor to any critical forum despite the challenge of listening with a bionic ear.

Bob Mitchell, Head of Hare, 2013


Millie Leckie, Bachelor of Visual Arts 2014

Millie Leckie’s artwork is driven by her passionate responses to people and place. Her work is driven by a sensibility that art may operate as a respite and restoration for the ills that afflict our culture. Millie’s exploration of jewellery practice is open-minded and often includes interdisciplinary methodologies of working. Her graduate work involved social relationships; participants in the project were initially performers and artists. The jewellery objects made by the participants served to provoke conversations and connection to other participants as well as the broader exhibition audience. Millie’s graduate work was selected for the internationally renowned Marzee Graduate Exhibition in the Netherlands. She also submitted a successful proposal for a curatorial workshop conducted by French jeweller, writer & curator Benjamin Lignel. Millie was the recipient of the 2014 Con Hutton Scholarship presented to a graduate from the Dunedin School of Art to support future postgraduate studies.


Millie Leckie, Yellow, from H is for Handle, 2014


Brendon Monson, BFA 2012

Brendon Monson’s great,great, great, great, great, greatgrandfather sailed to Dunedin on the Wickliffe, the first ship of colonists reaching these shores. Brendon’s jewellery often references the colonial and natural history of our Southern city. His contemporary jewellery work features Dunedin basalt as a primary material and he sandblasts a surface relief of historic architectural motifs into the stone’s surface. This work has rapidly established Brendon’s professional practice as well as earning him several awards during his studies. Brendon maximised his art school experience by studying part-time for the majority of his four year degree. He accumulated a breadth of knowledge which he shares with generosity and enthusiasm. This has led to Brendon tutoring evening classes in jewellery for the past two years. His students value his care, attention to detail and often humorously brutal criticism of their work.


Ashlee O’Hagan BVA(Hons)

“Painting is a literal translation of how the body moves, it’s impossible to separate the painter from the painting”.

Ashlee came to the Dunedin School of Art from university study and completed a BVA with a major in Painting in 2014 and began a BVA Honours majoring in Painting in 2015.  Primarily examining the body in painting, Ashlee works across different types of media but primarily drawing in charcoal and coloured pencils on paper, and painting in oils on canvas. Utilizing colour directly on the canvas and building layers of pigments in order to create an improvised abstract composition is the main focus within the current field of study. Ashlee will be presenting her new suite of paintings at the end of 2015.


Tom Ellison

“Having worked for years in the engineering trade and feeling that my creative needs were not being met there I decided to join the Dunedin School of Art. I was attracted to the processes surrounding printmaking and found a home amongst the community of the Print Studio. I have recently set up a business ‘FHDW’ and now enjoy creating work incorporating both my engineering and print processes.

Tom came to the Dunedin School of Art in his mid-20s after working in the metal working trade in Dunedin for a number of years since leaving secondary school. He chose to major in the Print Studio for his BVA because of his background in working with metal that was advantageous to him for an engagement with metal plate etching. Since attaining his Bachelor of Visual Arts in 2013 he has been successful in gaining funding to develop a design business which incorporates his newly acquired printing skills with his skills in metal design and fabrication.


Nathan Forbes

"My time at the DSA has been hugely transformative. I’ve gone from being an uneducated high school drop-out, working bottom of the rung labouring jobs and producing the odd, badly executed, non-conceptual piece of art, to having a Master’ss Degree. I now have a real sense of direction and the belief that I might actually have something to offer the art world in the future.” 

Nathan came to the Dunedin School of Art through the Creative Studies Program in the Design School of  Otago Polytechnic. He completed his BVA at the DSA in 2012 and proceeded into Postgraduate studies completing his Postgraduate Diploma in 2013 and then his Master of Visual Arts in 2014. Nathan is a “straight edge” vegan and his continuing art practice maintains this strong ethical position that extends to avoiding the use of any animal products. He plays the drums in a number of hard core, death metal bands in the Dunedin music scene and is an enthusiastic advocate for vegan art materials in New Zealand.


Al Bell

“I arrived at the DSA wanting to be challenged and was prepared to be open to change in my art work. My initial ideas and intentions have taken a sharp turn and I am excited about the new work I am making. An interest in Maori health issues has led me to take on a more conceptual approach to developing my work and through positive feedback I am feeling empowered and positive about this new direction.” 

Al is completing his Graduate Diploma in the Print Studio at the Dunedin School of Art in 2015. He is Kai Tahu and has been a primary school teacher in Oamaru for the past 35 years. After travelling down to Dunedin from Oamaru each week to attend night classes in the Print Studio for a couple of years Al  experienced a burgeoning interest in developing a more intensive engagement with the visual arts. He applied for and was awarded a Teach NZ Scholarship to take a year’s leave to immerse himself in full time study. As a result Al’s skill base in print work has broadened significantly and the focus of his recent projects engage with the politics of Maori health.

 (photo: Thomas Lord)