Simon attended Waiariki Polytechnic in Rotorua from 1989 to 1992, studying in the visual arts program taught by Robert Jahnke. In 1990 he participated in the Taharora Marae project on the east coast of New Zealand’s North Island, designing and carving poupou (carved figures) and then the front of the meeting house. From 1993 to 1996 he assisted master carver Lyonel Grant on the wharenui (ancestral meeting house) Ihenga at Waiariki Polytechnic. Later, employed by Waiariki Institute of Technology (formerly Waiariki Polytechnic), he tutored in design, sculpture and carving and assisted in a series of major projects for his iwi (people). Since 2001, he has lived with his whanau (family) in Gisborne.
He carved a wharenui/pawaha (entranceway) for his old high school, and he is currently a tutor in tertiary-level sculpture carving at the Toihoukura School of Māori Visual Arts at Tairawhiti Polytechnic in Gisborne. He has participated in many exhibitions and attended art hui (gatherings) throughout New Zealand.
Excerpt from Manawa—Pacific Heartbeat, 2005.
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