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Matariki Tuhono ki te Taiao
Matariki Tuhono ki te Taiao
June 4 @ 10:00 am – June 29 @ 4:00 pm
Matariki celebrations in Te Hau Kapua this Saturday!
Join us this Rāhoroi/Saturday 25th of June to celebrate Matariki in Te Hau Kapua, Devonport Peninsula.
As part of the wider festivities brought to you by Devonport Business Association, Restoring Takarunga Hauraki and other host venues, Depot Artspace will be hosting the following whānau-friendly activities:
1 – 4 PM:
Drop-in Weaving Session with Katie Isla Middleton
You can join in this drop-in session at any time; pick up a new skill, simply observe, or even add to Katie’s large woven installation in the central gallery space.
We will have a carpet and cushions to sit on, chairs, and relaxed music. We ask that you please keep food and drink outside of the weaving area out of respect for tikanga. Materials will be provided.
4 – 5 PM:
Matariki Tūhono ki te Taiao Closing Event
Ngahiwi Walker (Ngāti Porou) will formally acknowledge the closing of this year’s Puanga-Matariki exhibition with a karakia whakamutunga (opening prayer), followed by a live acoustic performance by Lana Fia with her signature loop pedal and Te Reo Māori waiata (songs). Hāngī samples will be served in the side gallery at 4.30PM*, and later at 5PM we look forward to the fluid movements of dancer Dylan-Blanc Huata, who performed at Depot earlier this year alongside his solo exhibition.
*We ask that you please consume food and drink in the side gallery or outside, out of respect for tikanga and the artists’ works.
Join exhibition co-curator and carver Natanahira Te Pona on a hīkoi (walk) up the hill to the summit of Takarunga Maunga, Mt.Victoria. This is a special opportunity for adults and tamariki to display the lanterns they have built over the past month, but all are welcome to join and observe the whetu, stars, from above the village.
All of these events are free for the public to attend including the hāngī, though a koha is always welcome.
The hāngī this year will be made during the day at Devonport Community House, and we will endeavour to make enough for everyone to have a taste.
Mānawatia a Matariki — Happy Māori New Year!
Matariki Tuhono ki te Taiao
Taking the phrase ‘i ngā wā ō mua – to turn to the times of the past’ as a starting point, this exhibition looks to Māori conceptualisations of time as event-based and non-linear, as being guided by subtle changes and patterns in the environment. Epitomising such interconnection with te taiao, the natural world, the appearance of Puanga and Matariki clusters of whetu (stars) in the early winter skies signal a shift in the seasons; traditionally prompting harvests, hākari (feasts), the preservation of kai for the colder months, and the planting of new crops.
This year we are joined by a range of multi-disciplinary ringatoi (artists) who each engage with te taiao and Te Ao Māori through raranga (weaving), whakairo or carved objects, paintings, and more. Depot Artspace’s Puanga – Matariki exhibition and associated events will take place as part of the Indigenous Ecology and Arts Wānanga, co-curated by Natanahira Te Pona of local ecology group Restoring Takarunga Hauraki.
We’ll also be hosting a closing celebration event on Saturday 25 June from 1-4pm. Refreshments will be provided.
About the Artists:
Natanahira Te Pona (Co-curator, Artist)
Wiremu Taniwha Kingi rauauko Ngahuia Retimana oku tipuna ki te taha ko taku Matua
Rangi Herewaka Rata rauako Paiahua Karena oku tipuna ki te taha ko taku whaea
Ko Tutete Taniwha Kingi rauauko Mailie Rata oku maatua
Nga Puhi, Tu Wharetoa, Ngati Awa, Te Aopouri, Ngati Raukawa, Ngati Porou, Te Arawa oku Iwi
Ko Matangirau, Mangamuka, Hirangi, Tunohopu oku marae.
Born and bred in Tūrangi, Natanahira Pona explores the world of Te Ao Māori as a skilled wood sculptor. He graduated from Rotorua’s Māori Arts and Crafts Institute, leaving to work with councils, schools, local businesses and private institutions. His commissions span from monuments to whakairo-inspired community shelters invigorated by his technical skills.
Te Pona shares his cultural knowledge, attending symposiums across Aotearoa New Zealand as well as representing Aotearoa in the 2016 Nepal World Wood Symposium. Currently Natanahira is a kaiako at Lake House Art Centre as a resident carver.
Ko Te Whetu – matarau te maunga
Ko Awatere te awa
Ko Horouta te waka
Ko Ngati porou te iwi
Ngahiwi started whakairo (carving) in 2003 because someone he knew had a traumatic experience. He wanted to do something for them, so he carved a ‘Pou’. The family was taken away – breathless – by it, and very grateful. Ngahiwi’s first carvings were gifts for family members whose lives had been affected in some way by birth or death; since then, he has been carving pūrākau (stories) that he remembers from way back. His influences include pūrākau handed down by elders, birth, and death, and he particularly likes to carve natural looking wooden shapes such as logs and posts.
Luis Cabrera was born in Mexico City and at the age of 18, he won a scholarship to study at a University in Italy. He studied International Relations and at the same time Culinary Arts. While working in Venice, He learned the vegetable Carving art of Mukimono. Working around the world as a chef (Mexico, US, Ireland, Italy, Australia and Central America) he always liked to add Aztec influences to his cooking and also as part of large buffet decorations for special events.
Cabrera arrived in NZ in 2008, and since then has been a big admirer of the art of Maori Carving (Whakairo). As soon as he got the opportunity to learn, he took it and was lucky enough to be trained by Master Carver Natanahira Pona. He always allowed/encouraged Luis to reflect his Aztec heritage in his carvings.
Ko Maungatautari taku maunga
Ko Waikato taku awa
Ko Ngati Manomano taku hapu
Ko Ngati Raukawa taku iwi
Ko Taumata o te Ra taku marae
Ko Tainui taku waka
Ko Levi Kereama taku ingoa
Levi Kereama is a 20 year old emerging artist from the North Shore. Levi has always drawn and painted from a young age however it is in the past three years that he has been working consistently, exploring his craft and studying the work of artists he admires such as Gauguin and William A Sutton. Levi’s preferred medium is oil on canvas and he has mainly been painting portraits and figures in landscape. It is only in recent times that Levi has begun to sell his work and take commissions. This is Levi’s first time exhibiting his works and he has enjoyed exploring his own understanding of Matariki.
Te Rarawa, Te Aupouri
Grateful that her grandmother taught her to weave taniko and sew at a young age, Ngaroma has been a compulsive maker ever since. One obsession that has never left her, is her love of whakairo. Unable to find anywhere to study it in Aotearoa, she began her carving journey in Japan making buddhist statues. Since returning to NZ in 2020 she has completed a certificate of whakairo at Te Wānanga o Aotearoa, and is excited to be part of the Toi Māori Aotearoa Whakakai Mentoring Programme, a cohort of wahine Māori artists working in three-dimensions. She is currently living the dream working with a team of ringa toi/kai whakairo on a tomokanga to be installed near her papakainga in Kaitaia.
Te Kahuwhero Alexander-Tu’inukuafe
Ngapuhi, Ngai Tawake ki te tuawhenua, Ngati Rehia, Te Whiu
Te Kahuwhero Alexander Tu’inukuafe is a Maori (Ngapuhi) and Tongan artist from Te Tai Tokerau, Aotearoa. After graduating with a Master of Architecture (Professional) from The University of Auckland in 2014, she has been working as a librarian in Aotearoa and Melbourne, Australia. Her work has been exhibited in both Aotearoa and Australia. Recent awards include being selected as the first prize winner of the Small Works Art Prize 2022 (Brunswick Street Gallery, Melbourne) and the Environment Award at the EGAG WRAP 2021 Small Artwork Prize (East Gippsland Art Gallery, Bairnsdale).
Katie Isla Middleton
Mā te huruhuru ka rere te manu – Adorn the bird with feathers so it may soar
Kathryn Isla Middleton is a Master of Fine Arts graduate of Elam School of Fine Arts at the University of Auckland. Her art practice is largely driven by process and functionality focusing on sculpture through cordage. She is a passionate cross-cultural artist mostly informed by Māori material methodologies and her own tauiwi heritage.
Kathryn’s kaupapa for Matariki Tuhono ki te Taiao entails weaving sculpture out of harakeke, tī kōuka, and pīngao. Kathryn’s work is a celebration of cordage – its strength, versatility, flexibility and interconnecting, fastening functionality. The knowledge she is using and informed by has been handed down from generation to generation. It is nourished through practice and through reciprocation by showing respect to the tikanga, sustainability, and engagement with tangata whenua.
While the process of creating the installation has been solitary, intuitive and investigative, it is also social and collaborative as it is informed by mātauranga Māori. A significant collaborative relationship throughout Kathryn’s practice has been Dante Bonica. Other collaboratives are Nikau Hindin, Arapeta Ashton, Matiu Bartlett, Ara Ariki Houkamau, Atareta Black, Feeonaa Clifton, Ani O’Neill, and Abigail Aroha Jensen. Ngā mihi nui ki a tātou ki te tautoko o te mahi toi.