Jason O’Hara

Jason O’Hara

Senior lecturer and major coordinator VCD digital media; consultant to Open Lab, Ngā Pae Māhutonga - The School of Design

Jason O’Hara's work straddles the worlds of art and design, regularly exploring our relationship with nature and to each other, with reoccurring themes of environmental advocacy, whakapapa, mauri, kaitiakitanga, science, music and dance.

He has worked as a lead creative in some of the country's leading design studios and has won numerous national and international awards as well as exhibiting in prominent galleries in New Zealand and around the Pacific.

O’Hara teaches a broad range of subjects at Ngā Pae Māhutonga - The School of Design.

  • Expertise

    Experience design, digital media, photography, video, graphic and exhibition design.

  • Research Highlights

    Kermadec - Nine artists explore the South Pacific, 2011 - ongoing
    Kermadec is an ongoing art project with other leading artists - Dame Robin White, Phil Dadson, Fiona Hall, John Pule, John Reynolds, Elizabeth Thomson, Bruce Foster and project curator/artist Gregory O’Brien. After sailing to the Kermadec region on the HMNZS Otago the group produced a major international touring exhibition Kermadec - Nine artists explore the South Pacific (National Library of NZ, City Gallery Wellington, Tuaranga Art Gallery, Tongaian High Commission, Easter Island, Museum of Contemporary Art, Santiago, Chile, Centre Culturel Tjibaou in New Caledonia) a smaller nationally touring show Kermadec - Lines in the Ocean (eight regional galleries to date) and significant publication Kermadec - Nine artists explore the South Pacific. The Dominion Post art critic Mark Amery said O’Hara’s work “... beautifully extends the documentary into poetic and elemental evocations of the experience”.

    New Zealand Symphony Orchestra’s “Morning Mood”, 2012
    A video exploration of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra’s Morning Mood which deconstructs not only the creation of the music but also the relationship between the audience and orchestra. It was a central component in an interactive promotion jointly produced by Insight Creative and the NZSO which O'Hara also designed. It was a finalist in the 2015 Best Awards.

    Various interactives and exhibition designs for Puke Ariki, New Plymouth
    Over the last 10 years O’Hara designed a number of interactives and exhibitions for Puke Ariki in his role as Design Director at Origin Design/Insight Creative. Of note were the 2008 Taranaki Whenua exhibition and 2011 Waireka interactive (Bronze Best Award).

    O’Hara and his design company Origin Design were fundamental to the early evolution of the brand design for the major clothing company Icebreaker. Projects included brand development, catalogues, advertising, packaging and website.

  • Qualifications

    Dip. VCD (Wellington Polytechnic)


  • Professional Affiliations

    Designers Institute of New Zealand (DINZ)