Dagmar Dyck is a first generation New Zealander born with art in her blood. Her German father was a house painter and her Tongan grandmother a 'tutu’, meaning one who beats tapa. Dagmar and her son Ercan Cairns continue this family legacy - in 1995, Dagmar was the first woman of Tongan descent to graduate from Elam School of Fine Arts, at The University of Auckland.
Wearer of multiple hats, Dagmar is both an artist, researcher, social justice advocate and art educator at Sylvia Park School for the last 10 years. Dagmar's heart lies in her community and heritage, which has directed the focus of her artistic practice and studies.
Dagmar's latest hand-stencilled, limited edition screen prints are the result of a Marsden project, which entailed studying objects of exchange and encounters between Europeans and Tongan islanders in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. The title of both of these prints reference a composition written by Her Majesty Late Queen Salote Tupou III, 'Mata Me'a Fo'oua' - 'Seeing New Things', on a trip to attend the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953.
In the composition Queen Salote describes the beautiful scenery that she has witnessed and how, despite the distance, how the memory of Tonga, overflowing with goodness, doesn't escape her.
Master of Professional Studies (Education) (Hons) 2019, University of Auckland
Graduate Diploma Teaching (Primary) 2009, Victoria University
Post-graduate Diploma of Fine Arts 1995
Bachelor of Fine Arts 1991-94, Elam School of Fine Arts, University of Auckland