I like toys, and I especially like Teddy Bears. Last year, I joined the Toy to the World Project. Artists from all over the world have the chance to paint some vinyl toys (these ones were vinyl bears) and submit them to an exhibition and auction event in Melbourne. The best thing about it, is that it is all for a good cause. All proceeds go towards raising funds for research into HIV.
Sounds like just my thing. So I applied and sent away for the bears. And, naturally, as artists do, I spent aaages procrastifibulating over what to paint on them. This is the first time I’ve ever painted vinyl toys, and I am definitely keen to try it again.
Tandem teddy painting
I painted both bears at the same time, one would dry while I was painting the other. One became red and the other green. Apart from black, they are two of my favourite colours. They were painted with acrylic paint, and then covered with a light varnish.
I gave the red bear an all over moko and the green bear the voices of the forest. Both bears are meant to be female, and supportive to others who are ill.
Tetti Pea Tautoko
I nicknamed them the Tetti Pea Tautoko – Support Teddy Bears – and they reminded me of people who have supported me throughout the last year. Although they are not meant to be portraits of anyone in particular. The korero in the speech bubbles on the Green Bear come from theories originally by Mason Durie. If you are interested in reading about Māori health (hauora), I’d recommend “Mauri Ora“.