A powhiri was held in the gallery for artists and their whanau to attend.
The title of this exhibition expresses the idea of associations we have with
others through shared whakapapa and historic events impacting on social
frameworks and experiences of place.
The artists involved belong to Toi o Taranaki Ki Te Tonga, either having
whakapapa that links them to iwi within Taranaki, or who are Māori and live
here and contribute to our community through their creativity.
The creation of mahi toi enables cultural narratives to be passed down
through the generations. Our yesterday’s inform us today and become part
of tomorrow’s history. While some of these works have been made in a
contemporary context, they have already become part of our history and
therefore our future.
Stone-carving has long been a skill practiced in Taranaki by generations
past, both to record events and identify people with place, as well as for
making tools and adornments. With modern power tools, the ancient
process of grinding and polishing to expose the hidden beauty and colours
within stone now means what once took months can be now be produced
in much shorter times. The intent however, to express a sense of identity
and mana, still remains.
Statements by some of the artists make reference to others, whose
support, mentorship and inspiration have impacted and influenced their
own work. For Māori, mahi toi is not a solo artistic endeavour, but stretches
out across the expanse of te Ao Māori whānau whānui, to enrich and
enhance the wairua of all.
This collection of works uses paint, light (photography and video),
installation work, print, raranga and whakairo (wood and stone) by the
participating artists to make references that enable some of the stories and
connections across a wide expanse of time to come together in one place,
within the Percy Thomson Gallery in Whakaahurangi, in this particular
moment in time.
Ngā mihi nui ki ngā rangatira toi o ngā wa i mua, me ngā ringa mahi o ēnei
rā e tautoko ana te kaupapa nei.
GB / BB - 2022