Emiko Sheehan – Artist
Artist Emiko Sheehan moved back to Kirikiriroa- Hamilton after New Zealand's first lockdown. The move revolved around reconnecting with whanau and the desire to have her newborn daughter Hinerehua be raised around her whanau.
“I felt a really beautiful connection that I, hadn't really felt before or hadn't noticed before” she said “it`s really nice to be back on my Turangawaewae again.
Emiko runs a programme called Waawahi Taha through Creative Waikato. She said it’s like a ‘mum and babies’ group but with a focus on creativity and the environment. It aims to nurture the creativity of both mothers and babies, treating mothers as serious artists.
Emiko has some advice for creatives “I would say learn how to separate yourself from your art and take criticism constructively. Don't be afraid to make mistakes and create work that may not be perfect”.
She also emphasises the value of getting a good night's sleep, “it's important to take care of your mental and physical well-being as an artist”.
Emiko said “being Māori influences every aspect of my life, including my creative career”.
She doesn`t necessarily create overtly ‘Māori’ art, but her Māori identity is always present in her work and is part of what guides and inspires her.
“I embrace my Māori heritage and see it as a source of strength and inspiration”.
Since returning to Kirikiriroa, Emiko has been fortunate to find support from the creative community. “The Creative Waikato team has been very supportive, connecting me with other artists and providing a base for advice and assistance”.
Emiko said, “I'm also collaborating with other creatives, particularly with the mum's group”, saying this has been a great experience, allowing for the exchange of ideas and shared creative energy.
“I embrace my Māori heritage and see it as a source of strength and inspiration”
“being Māori influences every aspect of my life, including my creative career”
“it`s really nice to be back on my Turangawaewae again.
“It's important to take care of your mental and physical well-being as an artist”.
Written by Rawiri (Ra) Keelan. Rawiri is a graduate of the Wintec- Te Te Pūkenga Bachelor of Music and Performing Arts. He is now studying the Graduate Diploma in Communication with a focus on media and creative writing, digital marketing, and communication.