Hidden art gem shows it’s never too late to learn

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Internationally-renowned Taiwanese glass and ceramic artist and mature-aged student Tai Chiu Mei (Aisha), says her studies at TAFE NSW have given her new tools to grow as an artist.

With an artistic career spanning nearly two decades, Ms Tai’s works have featured in solo and co exhibitions, with pieces also appearing in major collections throughout Asia, Europe and America. She has curated international exhibitions, won numerous awards and is commissioned by the Taiwanese government to speak at international universities.

In 2017, Ms Tai moved to Australia to live in the Nambucca Valley with her Australian husband and wrought-iron artist and enrolled at TAFE NSW to develop her English-language skills.

“I wanted to learn more English and to meet people in my new community. What has also happened is that I have found a new medium and I’m experimenting working with felt,” says Ms Tai.

In 2017 she completed a Certificate I in Spoken and Written English and is currently completing a Certificate III in Career Advancement- Passion to Profit, both at TAFE NSW Macksville.

“I have really enjoyed the Passion to Profit course as I’ve learned new skills in felting art. Felt feels so different to the hard, cool of glass. It’s soft and warm and very colourful,” says Ms Tai.

Ms Tai says that aside from creating art, she would also like to share her skills and knowledge with others.

“It’s been interesting to see how art is being taught in Australia at a basic level and to think about how I could teach. It’s been a very supportive environment and it’s given me the opportunity to expand as an artist.”

Ms Tai is showcasing her works in Australia for the first time next month at an exhibition titled ‘Earthfire- Forged in Flame’. She teams with husband Allan McIntosh and daughter Shorna Tai, who is a budding artist in oil and watercolours.

The launch of the exhibition is on Saturday 20 October at the Matilda Street Art Gallery, 26 Matilda St, Macksville, at 5.30pm and will run until 11 November.

Media contact: Elizabeth Bond, Media Officer, 02 6569 2014 or 0438 624 802 or Sara Runciman, Business Partner Media and Communications, 02 6569 2008 or 0467 725 245.