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Renowned Photographer Marti Friedlander Gifts The Moko Suite To National Museum

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Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Renowned Photographer Marti Friedlander Gifts The Moko Suite To National Museum

On Tuesday 16 March, Marti Friedlander will officially gift 47 photographic prints known as The Moko Suite to Te Papa. A small ceremony will be held at FHE Galleries, 2 Kitchener St, Auckland. It will begin at 12pm, and media are welcome to attend.

'Te Papa is overwhelmed by the generosity of Marti's decision to gift these taonga to the national museum,' said Te Papa's Acting Chief Executive and Kaihautū, Ms Michelle Hippolite.

'The whakhua (portraits) capture the whakapapa and art of moko and the lives of Kuia in the 1970s. These truly are national taonga, and Te Papa is exploring how they can be made available to as many New Zealanders as possible,' Ms Hippolite said.

The Moko Suite comprises 47 images of Kuia with chin moko, and was commissioned to illustrate historian Michael King's 1972 book Moko - Maori tattooing in the twentieth century. King and Friedlander toured New Zealand to capture these remarkable women at a time when it was thought that the art of moko may be lost to future generations.

'This is a gift of international importance,' said Kathlene Fogarty, Director of FHE Galleries. 'The authority, quiet dignity, and mana reflected in these images of Kuia speak to all people of the world. It is a gift of true aroha, both from Marti and these beautiful women.'

Friedlander's work has been exhibited at the Photographers' Gallery in London, and was the subject of a large touring retrospective in 2001. More recently, her photographs featured in a solo exhibition at the Gus Fisher Gallery, Auckland, accompanying the release of Leonard Bell's biography Marti Friedlander. In 2007, the Arts Foundation launched the Marti Friedlander Photographic Award, which gives $25,000 to an established photographer to assist his or her career development.

The public will be able to see The Moko Suite on display at FHE Galleries until 20 March. (www.fhegalleries.com).

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