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A Little Boy’s Dream - paintings by Shayne Nankivell

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Shayne2Shayne Nankivell has had a remarkable creative journey with The Learning Connexion. Arriving in 2014, he has become a prolific painter, capturing the warmth of his immediate environment through energetic and confident brushstrokes. His new exhibition - A Little Boy's Dream at the Southern Cross Garden bar celebrates that journey. Shayne shares his inspiring story with us.

My childhood was taken away from me as I grew up in the Wairarapa in the early 1970s. I was kept locked away in my bedroom in our house and I only had a view outside my bedroom that overlooked hills, trees and a landscape. That’s the only world I knew.

I loved drawing as a kid and it was the only thing that I felt I was good at.

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On 26 December 1988 at approximately 2.30pm in the afternoon, I suffered a serious brain injury due to a car accident. My world was never to be the same at the age of 21.

I had to learn how to speak again, eat again, walk again and function in daily life. There was a long road to recovery.

After long spells of boredom post-recovery, I wanted to do something that was meaningful.

In 2014 I decided I wanted to go to art school and see what I was capable of creatively. I heard about The Learning Connexion through a friend and immediately enrolled and discovered that I could create drawings that were meaningful through symbols and shapes that I connected with.


Drawing was something I had done before coming to The Learning Connexion, however, I had never picked up a paintbrush. Through the support and guidance of the tutors at The Learning Connexion, I gained the confidence to express myself through colour and pattern.

My paintings allow me to feel I have achieved something and this makes me feel good about myself. My biggest inspiration is the landscape around me, especially the hills and bush.

I hope you get drawn into my works and get the feeling of what I see and feel. I would also like to say a big thank you to all the people who have helped me on my creative journey so far.

Transcribed by Dan Wilkinson, mentor and tutor at The Learning Connexion, on behalf of Shayne, June 2020.

Shayne's latest paintings will be on display at the Southern Cross Garden Bar in Wellington for the month of July 2020. Any sales enquiries contact Shayne on 0210876600

Thinking about enrolling at The Learning Connexion? Find out more about us here


  • Wendy zelt
    02/07/2020 3:54am (4 years ago)

    What a fabulous story best wishes for a sucessful exhibition.

  • Wendy zelt
    02/07/2020 3:53am (4 years ago)

    What a great story best wishes for your exhibition. You have a lovely mentor in Dan.