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Matariki Hunga Nui exhibition making taonga shine - Horowhenua District Council

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Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Stirring works of art inspired by the dawn rise of Matariki have been brought together in the Māpuna Kabinet Art Gallery in Foxton’s Te Awahou Nieuwe Stroom.

Sculptural work by Tracey Underwood greets visitors as they walk into the Matariki Hunga Nui art exhibition. Its title ‘Te Atākura’ refers to the red tipped dawn seen in the morning sky. A whitish wooden ocean body cradles red tinged harakeke spikes, which are emitted from a square featuring a kōwhaiwhai motif particular to the local Paranui Marae.

Raranga artist and exhibition curator Pip Devonshire says, "We wanted to create a multimedia show that links Matariki as a time for the gathering of people. We brought together a group of artists that wanted to share their current practices - conveying traditional concepts integrated with modern media.

The show includes paintings, sculptures, korowai, kete, tiki and taiaha created by artists from local hapū, Toi Matarau Gallery at the Māoriland Film Hub in Ōtaki, and kaupapa Māori Roopu associated with Te Awahou Foxton.

Works by highly esteemed modern artists like Karl Leonard and Huhana Smith sit seamlessly next to pieces created by newly emerging artists like 14-year old Awhina Osborne and Huhenia Paurini.

"It was great to see one of Huhenia’s intricate drawings sold by opening night," says Ms Devonshire. "Her works are about light, the universe and deeper meanings of our existence. People stand in front of her patterns laced with gold, and are drawn into pondering topics that take us away from our everyday lives. Huhenia also uses ceramics as her canvas. She is a true multi-media artist, who merges traditional Māori art forms with modern concepts."

The opening of Matariki Hunga Nui coincided with the Matariki celebrations in Te Awahou Foxton and across Horowhenua, and will remain on show until Sunday 25 September.

The exhibition is a collaboration between Te Taitoa Māori o Te Awahou Trust, who manage the Piriharakeke Generation Inspiration Centre on behalf of local hapū, in collaboration with Toi Matarau Gallery, at the Māoriland Film Hub in Ōtaki.

Matariki Hunga Nui - The Exhibition Theme

Ko te rewatanga mai o Matariki ka tohu i te wā e huihui ai te hunga tangata. Kua oti nei ngā mahi o te raumati, kua hauhaketia ngā kai, ā, kua kī ngā pātaka. He wā hui, he wā wānanga, he wā whakanui i te tau kua hipa me ōna tini āhuatanga katoa.

The rising of Matariki signals a time for the gathering of people. The hard work of summer and the harvesting of foods have finished. It is a time of gathering. A time to contemplate and acknowledge the past year and its many challenges and achievements.

Matariki Hunga Nui - Art Exhibition Māpuna Kabinet Art Gallery

Thursday 23 June - Sunday 25 September

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