Aroha Cockburn and iAccelerate

“My love affair with art began in high school. For me art wasn’t about perfection but perspective, a way to escape from reality and express who I was. I met Ange from Willo through my role at iAccelerate where we work with entrepreneurs and start-ups. Will’s story really resonated with me as I have a family member that’s had Asperger’s since pre-school and I’ve watched him struggle, learn, grow and adapt to the world around him. I believe anything we can do to bridge gaps and build pathways to awareness between people from all walks of life can only be a positive thing. My art work is inspired by the supernatural Maori creature called a “taniwha” (ta-nee-fa) which resembles the dragon or serpent seen in other cultures. In some regions of NZ they lived in dark caves waiting to pounce on innocent tribesman as they passed by. This would often result in a brave warrior slaying the beast and becoming hero of their village. In other legends taniwha are believed to be guardians of the oceans, rivers and lakes and all those that live near them. So I chose this type of taniwha as guardianship of our life here on the beautiful Illawarra coast.”

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