I'm Cath O'Brien, the founder and facilitator of Make Like a Tree.
I have been working creatively with children for nearly a decade. I also work with adults with diverse needs. I'm a practicing artist with a Bachelor of Visual Arts from Auckland University of Technology and a Diploma in Nursing from Unitec.
I love working creatively with children. All children have their own creative/visual language that includes drawing, painting, mixed media, construction, installation, photography, stop motion animation and more.. I facilitate creative spaces that enable children to make their own decisions around their creativity and to direct their creative learning. I work alongside to introduce concepts, techniques, skills, materials and tools when the time is right.
The creative environment enhances the creative process. I like to provide a wide range of tools and materials for children to easily access in the creative space. Providing a diverse range of easily accessible materials creates independent and innovative young artists. Care for each other, the materials and the creative space is fundamental to my practice. in the hope that the children will apply this practice to all environments.
I provide and interesting combination of found objects and recycled materials as well as tradtional art making materials for the creative process.
Children learn about themselves and their world through the sensory experience of the creative process. .Using tools and materials to create, strengthens hand and mind coordination and develops fine motor control. Important life skills develop during the creative process including creative expression, innovation communication, of ideas collaboration, decision making, problem solving, observational skills and more, . The experience of seeing one's visual ideas manifest, gives children confidence in their ability to make things happen.
I am passionate about New Zealand's unique natural environment especially native birds and plants. These aspects are often incorporated into the children's creative work.
I also work as a tutor at Mapura Studios.
Michelle (Mum to Lucy and Emily)
"Freya loves your class and she always says art makes her feel happy. I feel very lucky that both my kids got to go to your classes and you are such a wonderful and very patient teacher.
Janette (Mum to Magnus and Freya)
I" have no hesitation in endorsing Cath for her work ethic, her ability to generate original creative ideas, her passion. for teaching children as well as her dedication to making art with minimal carbon footprint"
Christine Currey. Acting Manager Mairangi Arts Centre