NCEA art bound for exhibition

Talented teenager... The quality of Lana Bonnett's artwork has been recognised. Photo: Shelley Topp


Covid-19 has been the gift that keeps giving for Amberley teenager Lana Bonnett.

Lana, aged 18, made Covid-19 the subject of her NCEA level-3 sculpture portfolio during her final year at Rangiora High School last year.

She first learnt about the virus in January last year but never dreamt it would become a global pandemic.

However, as the virus spread, it provided Lana with a rich vein of ideas for her portfolio.

Her work earned an “excellence in visual art” grading, the highest achievement possible, from the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA).

Quality effort… Part of Lana’s art portfolio.

Then, late last month she was invited to submit her portfolio for this year’s NZQA Top Art Exhibition

Lana is pleased her portfolio has been received so well, and excited to have her work included in the exhibition with 59 other students who also achieved an “excellence in visual art” (design, painting, photography, printmaking and sculpture) grading at level 3 in 2020.

The exhibition will tour later this year.

The invitation surprised Lana, who is grateful for the support from Rangiora High School art teacher Jan Robertson. “She is my favourite teacher ever. Anything I needed she was always there to help.”

Jan says she enjoyed teaching the talented teenager.

“Lana is an empathetic, motivated young woman who responded so well to suggestions, and her maturity meant you could chat to her, critique her work and offer suggestions and she would then respond to this,” Jan says.

“She rightly deserved the grades she received in these subjects as they are demanding subjects which require a high level of self discipline and commitment.

“I know she will do well in whatever she does and I wish her all the best for her studies over the next few years.”

Lana says she has always had a mind for art and decided to study it at school.

She plans to be an architect and headed to Wellington last Saturday to begin studying for a Bachelor of Architectural Studies at Victoria University. After she completes the three-year degree, she is hoping to continue her studies for a Masters at the prestigious Delft University of Technology in The Netherlands.

“That will depend on whether Covid-19 is still around,” she says.

Lana is keen to study at Delft because it is rated as one of the world’s top two universities for architectural studies and she has family there, as her mother, Rianne, is from The Netherlands.