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Double Success for Napier Art Student

October 25, 2017

Dan Cunliffe with his ceramic collection, one of his two finalist entries in the national awards.

EIT student Dan Cunliffe is a double finalist in the prestigious ECC New Zealand Student Craft/Design Awards. 

One of 11 finalists in the national competition, the final-year Bachelor of Visual Arts and Design student says his success in the awards is flattering and recognition of the hard work he’s put in at ideaschool. 

Reflecting his passion for making objects with his hands, his entries in the awards are a collection of ceramic beakers and flasks and a concrete and timber coffee table – work he has produced in the last two years of his degree studies.

Born and raised in Napier, Dan is a full-time solo father to River, his 4-year-old son. 

“It’s always a squeeze, working round things and juggling my time,” he says of managing parenting and study.  “It takes a toll on what I am able to produce.”

Dan worked at a number of jobs after leaving Napier Boys’ High School, “trying to find my feet until I decided to explore my creative side.”  Now the 29-year old is savouring the opportunities he has to create three-dimensional art at ideaschool.

“That’s what I’m passionate about.  My focus is materiality and construction.  That may change over time, I go where my heart leads me.”

Dan says that because his hometown is thriving, the local arts community is also doing well.  He is keen to be part of that dynamic.

He would love to pursue his passion for art when he finishes his degree this year.

“I’m not sure what that would look like but I would like to set up a business and it will be in Hawke’s Bay where I have family ties.”