Visual Arts & Digital Media Tutors

Alice Moore

Lecturer in Motion Graphics, Web Design, Major Projects, Body of Work
BDes with Honours 1st Class (Massey University), Cert. Maori Visual Arts (Te Wānanga O Aotearoa)

Alice completed a BDes (Hons) at Massey University majoring in Digital Media in 2012 and was awarded Massey Scholar for her degree. She began teaching at Whitireia in 2013. She is a published children’s illustrator and is currently working on writing and illustrating her first full picture book titled All Things Tails and Claws using 3-dimensional digital design to produce the illustrative spreads. She specialises in character development, 3D modelling and texturing. Her expertise and interests seek to develop innovative modes of engagement for children through various digital and print mediums. In 2012, Alice received a team Best Award (Bronze) from the Designer’s Institute of New Zealand for her animation in TweetMe, an educational interactive installation (Te Papa Tongarewa, Pātaka) and in 2013 she received a team national award for art direction in the 48 hour Film Festival.


Brenda Saris

Programme Manager
MPhil with Honours 1st Class (AUT), MDes Distinction (AUT), Dip Visual Communication Design (Wellington Polytechnic)

For more than 25 years, Brenda has been employed as an art director and graphic designer in the advertising and design industry. She has worked in NZ, the UK and Holland, honing valuable strategy, communication and Adobe CS skills. Brenda’s experience as an all round creative ensured she was able to considerably support the growth of her employers, tackling corporate clients, well known retailers, manufacturers and high-profile service industries alike. Since completing her MDes in 2009, these skills have been directed towards design education and her professional work is, on occasion, ongoing through Beehive Creative. At Whitireia since 2012, she teaches across all graphic and digital design disciplines, core arts and studio papers and all levels, including Graduate Diploma. Brenda was awarded an MPhil with Honours (1st class) from AUT at the end of 2014. This research examined the benefits of a devised human-centred branding strategy for New Zealand small business within the new technological environment, and her current focus is on developing advanced design pedagogy within globalization for the New Zealand context.


Chris White

Senior Tutor Visual Arts and Design, Lecturer in Printmaking, Painting and Drawing
BA First Class Hons (Camberwell Art School, The London Institute), MFA (Elam)

Chris achieved a first-class Honours degree in illustration and after a postgraduate year in printmaking; he worked for many years as a free-lance illustrator publishing work for clients in the UK such as The Sunday Times Magazine, The World Wide Fund for Nature, Thames and Hudson, Orion Books and Blueprint Architecture magazine.  His achievements include best artist award from the Royal Society of Watercolourists (London) 1986, as well as being Artist in Residence at The Old Royal Observatory – Greenwich Maritime Museum, 1997 -1998.

Since migrating to Aotearoa, New Zealand he has completed a Masters of Fine Arts at Elam (Auckland University), as well as illustrating picture books for publishers Mallinson Rendel.  In 2008, his illustrations for the children’s picture-book ‘Dad’s Takeaways’ (written by Melanie Drewery) were short listed for the Russell Clark medal for illustration.  Chris’s teaching extends to many areas of the applied arts degree and he exhibits regularly both here in Aotearoa and overseas.


Mel Phillips

Tutor in Practical and Advanced Photography – Camera Awareness, Flash and Studio lighting, Alternative Processing and Portfolio
BAppA (Visual Arts and Design)

Mel Phillips came to photography when a patron of his restaurant found they couldn’t pay for their meal, so left him with a camera instead. At the same time, one of the kitchen staff wanted to set up a darkroom in the kitchen – and he did, and then so did Mel. With an art background, Mel could draw and paint, so the camera was a natural extension of those skills. He studied at Wellington Polytechnic, finishing first the Certificate in Photography, and later the Agfa Bursary.

Mel joined a prominent Wellington photographer in his commercial studio, where the business of photography became a reality. Setting up his own studio less than a year later, he rapidly became a key player in the commercial photographic arena in Wellington.

Almost simultaneously, Mel began teaching photography. His skills as a chef translated into photography when he discovered an old photography book that included recipes for alternative photographic processing. Unable to resist any recipe, Mel was soon elbow deep in dangerous chemistry. This lead to a position teaching antique processes to students at Wellington Polytechnic. A mixture of teaching and commercial photography has been his staple diet ever since.


Craig Anderson  

Bachelor of Creative Technologies

Craig has 20 Years of industry and freelance graphic design and photography work to his credit and his focus is in new interactive technologies, virtual technologies and 3D printing, data design and mapping. 


Gareth McGhie 

Post Grad Cert in Applied Practice (Digital and Collaborative Learning) 

Gareth has taught across the suite of Creative Technologies programs since 2010. Prior to this Gareth worked across many fields of the creative industries including Hairdressing, Film work including Design, SPFX make up, Costuming, Miniatures, Props manufacture and Set construction. 

Initially training as a Hairdresser Gareth spent 10 years in this industry and was actively involved in Wella’s design team and national competition circuit winning both regional and national titles during the 1990s. 

Gareth then moved to the NZ film industry in 1999 and worked for Weta Workshop for the following 10 years, the last 5 of which were spent as workshop supervisor overseeing production on multiple film, Gaming, and Public art work projects including King Kong, Lion,Witch and Wardrobe Trilogy, District 9, and Avatar films. Gareth still works closely with Weta Workshop and film based manufacturing companies in the wellington region and actively researches in this area. 

Gareth’s personal art practice centres on contemporary Maori carving and adornment working predominantly in bone, wood and stone. The Kaupapa of this work is settled firmly within the concepts of Te Ao Maori and Whakapapa in particular. His work is exhibited regularly both in NZ and Internationally. The intersection of this carving practice and his work in the film based manufacturing industry is a primary area of research in regards to materiality, process, and development. 


Darren Ward 

Post Grad Cert in Applied Practice (Digital and Collaborative Learning) 

Darren has had over twenty years’ experience in various engineering fields which include NZ Defence, high speed packaging engineer for Lever Rexona and locomotive rebuild engineer for KiwiRail and he utilizes his knowledge of engineering to apply concepts of hard materials and processes practice into the school. Darren also has over 15 years of Maori art and design practice centred in Whakairo which includes Marae, gallery, and commission work. 

Darren’s research focus is in 3D methodologies and processes including 3D modelling, Printing, Machining and associated technologies and in particular the use of these industry processes to inform teaching practice. 


Deidra Sullivan MFA  

Deidra’s academic background combines fine arts, photography and art history. Her creative practice integrates traditional and alternative photographic processes such as cyanotypes, lumen prints and chemigrams with digital interventions. She has written on photography for online arts and culture forums as well exhibition catalogue essays for galleries including The Adam Art Gallery, The Engine Room and Enjoy. Deidra encourages her students to combine their practical and creative image making skills with a healthy dose of critical visual analysis. 


Supphawut (Tang) Supanun 

MFA, BCGD (with distinction) 

Supphawut (Tang) Supanun is a Thai contemporary graphic designer. 

Supphawut completed a BCGD with a distinction of academic achievement at Whanganui School of Design in collaboration with Waikato University majoring in Computer Graphic Design & Digital Media in 2007 and continually completed an MFA in Design from Massey University at the end of 2015. His thesis, “.คน: A Loop of Siam, examines the relationship between cultural identity and letterform (shape) in a modern context. 

Supphawut has taken the concept of the loop which is prominent in Thai letterform, and weaving in Thai historical and cultural contexts knowledge to explore ways to manifest the language as different visual forms using a trans‐customary design method) to demonstrate the absences of historical and cultural awareness impacting on design production of the twentieth century. Supphawut continually evolves his practice by combining traditional & cultural art and craft knowledge with the use of new innovative design. 


Mike Robinson BDes (Hons) 

Mike completed a BDes (Hons) at Massey University majoring in Visual Communication Design and Digital Media in 2013. He has since been working as a freelance designer and artist in areas spanning Illustration, Ceramics, Graphic design, Web design, costume design, Sound design and sculpture. Much of his work has been based in central China in the last three years where he has been teaching design courses for various institutions. He has a keen interest in mixing technologies both old and new and brings this multidisciplinary approach to all his teaching and personal practice. 

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