Award-winning COVID art

Emma Flanagan won a national art competition during lockdown level 3. Photo: Paula Hulburt.

A school student’s creative take on lockdown has won her a top place in a national design competition.

Fourteen-year-old Emma Flanagan from Marlborough Girls’ College entered a Radio New Zealand competition to design a T-shirt to mark the Covid-19 lockdown.

Her flower-powered entry was picked from thousands to join four other winning designs to be made into T-shirts.

The Year 10 pupil entered the competition at the beginning of May, as the number of people diagnosed with coronavirus began to drop.

Flowers in her designs represent a kinder chapter in people’s lives, Emma says.

“I decided to do a face mask as all the nurses and health care professionals were wearing them.

“The flowers are about growth during lockdown and how people were being kinder to each other.”

Emma also hid a teddy bear, toilet paper, a loaf of bread and a bag of flour in her penned drawing.

Five dollars from every sale will be donated to Emma’s chosen charity, the Kiwi Can initiative run by the Graham Dingle Foundation in schools across Marlborough.

The Year 10 student says she wanted to choose a local charity so money raised would benefit people in her community.

All remaining profits from the $45 shirt go back to the t-shirt producers in Kolkata, India to ensure they have an opportunity at a better way of life.

Emma says she is a keen supporter of the Kiwi Can programme as her mum, Sal, is a teacher at Redwoodtown School where the initiative is run.

Graeme Dingle Foundation Marlborough Regional Manager Kelvin Watt says he is grateful for Emma’s support.

“It’s so touching that Emma, as a young person herself, is in turn benefitting other children and teenagers here in Marlborough,” he says.

To buy a T-shirt featuring Emma’s work visit

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