|Luca Walton (School/Marsden, 2013-17) - OC of the Month June 2022|
In June we spoke with Old Collegian Luca Walton (School/Marsden, 2013-17) who was recently commissioned by Auckland Council to put on a large scale showcase of his artwork in the Auckland CBD on the exterior of the Ellen Melville Centre.
The installation ran from March through to May, as a nod to Pasifika Heritage Month (celebrated in the US in May), and also as part of the celebration of the Auckland Pasifika Festival here in New Zealand in March.
Luca tells us that the opportunity to display his artwork emerged out of the Omicron Covid Outbreak in March. With so much uncertainty around events and with the real possibility of cancellations threatening the Auckland Pasifika Festival and other events such as Polyfest and fiafia nights, the Ellen Melville Centre decided to present two artists, Luca Walton and fellow Pasifika artist Tai Nimo, the opportunity to put on a visual experience that people could enjoy safely.
‘Luca says he drew inspiration for his art from the strong Pasifika women in his life, especially from his softly spoken mother and ‘my three older sisters, who all hail from different island nations’. Quote from “It’s just surreal” – Super-sized Pacific artworks grace CBD centre. APRIL 6, 2022. Tagata Pasifika.
In this month’s interview Luca shares with us memories of his time at King’s College, whilst also giving us an insight into his creative journey and what he does now as a professional artist.
When you were at King’s College, what did you want to do for a career after you graduated?
I definitely wanted to be involved in the creative industry whether that was as a professional artist, or more in a creative director role it’s definitely why I seemed to gravitate towards and never really left the art & tech block during my time at kings, it was 100% a sanctuary for me.
• What is your best memory of your time at King’s College?
It would have to be either the beautiful experiences I got to have during the art & photography field trip to Sydney during an art festival with all my friends, or evening art catch-ups for our art boards, we just got to hang out on the top floor of the tech block painting all together and listening to music when I’d usually be back at the boarding house, the art teachers like Mr Tucker really went above and beyond giving us their own time to give us the best chance of success.
• Which staff member do you remember most favourably from King's College and
Too many to say but honourable mentions do have to go to Mr Tucker, Ms Brown and Mr Foxall, they gave me a lot of confidence in my artistic abilities and treated me like a capable young person, which led me to believe that about myself.
• What advice would you give to your school age self?
Really lean on the people around you and let them do the same, be vulnerable and be steadfast in how kindness is not a weakness.
• Tell us about yourself now and what you do for a career?
I’ve had the one goal of doing something creative since I’ve left, however the journey to get there was and is not a straight line and I think that is totally valid with whatever you choose to do, I work as an artist professionally and do small and large scale commissions whilst also selling my work online or through retail/gallery spaces like most recently at Endemic world in Ponsonby, plus I operate my very own online print store.
• What does/did your job involve?
A lot of fun, at-least it should be on a regular day. Ideally being carried away in a piece because you are enjoying the creation process so much with it all just falling into place. it also involves being able to maintain a social media presence. Really listening to clients, and also getting feedback from viewers of my work.
• What are the most challenging parts of your job?
I find managing my social media the most challenging, it can be a difficult balance between feeling the need to be available 24/7, answering questions responding to lovely messages and comments about your work and returning that love, or also learning to just shut your phone off and leave work behind. I’m always feeling like I could be putting out more “content” doing more for myself, but that can be a dangerous mindset as an artist and in this day and age easy to slip into, to view your work as simply “content” for social media to absorb.
• What would you say is your biggest achievement to date?
Two milestones this year, getting into my first gallery and the Pasifika Showcase at Ellen Melville Centre, commissioned by Auckland Council.
It was incredibly surreal to see my work and my heritage displayed on such a large scale for an extended period of time. Very proud moment for me and my family.
• What is the single thing that would most improve the quality of your life?
A robot vacuum.
• What are the three objects you would take with you to a desert island?
A satellite phone, a generator, and a charger for said phone.
• How would you like to be remembered?
Fondly, I hope.
I try make an active effort to make people happy through my practice and in my day to day life.
If you know an old collegian that would make a great 'OC of the Month', then please get in touch with us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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