February 21, 2014
Five Maori Painters opens
An exhibition charting the work of five Maori women painters opens this weekend at Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki.
It features Robyn Kahukiwa, Emily Karaka, Kura Te Waru Rewiri, Saffronn Te Ratana and Star Gossage, as well as significant historic examples of painted hoe and heke from Auckland War Memorial Museum and work by 19th-century artist George French Angas.
Kura Te Waru Rewiri says while she works in a contemporary manner, she is also drawn to what came before.
She says wahine Maori artists tend to be driven by political and spiritual as well as artistic concerns, and traditional crafts like kowhaiwhai or rafter patterns can offer a formal language to make their points.
"It’s about how we occupy space, how we live together, how we see each other or how we see our country at this present time. Kowhaiwhai lends itself to being able to inter-weave in and out of social, political and economic things we are faced with today in Aotearoa," she says.
Kura Te Waru Rewiri and Saffronn Te Ratana will give artists talks at the gallery on Sunday afternoon, while tomorrow at 1 curator Ngahiraka Mason will talk about the themes explored in Five Maori Painters.
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