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Teremoana Rapley shares the artistic architecture of her forthcoming album

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Combining archival footage, live performance, music, interviews and digital art,‘ui takes us on a journey of self-discovery and explores the three-decade long creative career of Teremoana Rapley, alongside reflections on her life as a mother, daughter, sister, grandmother and lover. The exhibition will share private reflections of her career and how she defines her creative life today as a ‘Black Moana Sovereign Storyteller’. Her journey culminating with her debut album, which has been 34 years in the making, ‘Daughter of a Housegirl’, set for release in March 2022.

As a working mother of four, Teremoana has worked in almost every area of television, music and event sectors over the past three decades. At age 14, Teremoana joined the pioneering, politically conscious rap group Upper Hutt Posse, and later joined Moana and the Moahunters. She also gained popularity as a television presenter for What Now? and indigenous youth magazine show, Mai Time, before moving into television production. Under her own production company and as a producer for Māori Television, Teremoana has over 3,000 production credits. She has also worked in event production and more recently in cultural development with Auckland Council.

Teremoana has collectively received the Taite Music Prize twice; first in 2016 with Upper Hutt Posse and then again in 2019 with Moana and the Moahunters. In 2018, Upper Hutt Posse received the Legacy Award and she was also inducted into the Aotearoa Music Hall of Fame. Teremoana is the only musician to receive all four accolades in New Zealand music history.

She has been described as a "creative polymath", to which she says, "I’m a ‘Teremoana of all trades’ - although it was not from privilege, but out of necessity to put a roof over our heads - to survive."

"While accolades are nice, I have always been aware that there are many places and spaces that were never designed with me in mind - why is that?" says Teremoana. Through ‘ui, she will present a multi-dimensional commentary on the acceptance of toxic behaviour in the music industry and questions the terminology and meaning of "art and wellbeing" and "arts and culture". She continues, "I am my music. But part of the challenge with any industry that relies on your unique creativity, is that you’re supposed to create a product that will be mass-manufactured. This is an industrial approach to art - and it doesn’t fit with me."

Tautai Director Courtney Sina Meredith says, "Teremoana Rapley is one of the most influential creatives and musicians working in Aotearoa today, like many of my generation - I grew up inspired by her tenacity and talent. We are honoured to have her at Tautai to share reflections on her immense and hugely successful career to date, as well as share more personal elements of her story for the first time, and all on the precipice of the release of her debut album."

Teremoana Rapley’s ‘ui will be presented at Tautai Gallery from 26 February until 26 March 2022.  

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