Student Carvers Complete Art Residency in Support of the Modern Māori Art Exhibition
Te Whare Whakairo o Waipapa Taumata Rau, a student collective of carvers, have just completed a week long residency at the Auckland Art Gallery. A group from Ngā Tauira Māori at Auckland University and Titahi Ki Tua from AUT have been supporting the last week of the Toi Tū Toi Ora: Contemporary Māori Art Exhibition, by bringing student art to the masses.
Te Whare Whakairo were initially stationed at the keepers cottage in Albert Park as part of the “White Space Gallery.” Having been the first Māori residency at the cottage, they caught the attention of the Auckland Art Gallery. Māori public programmers got into contact with the student groups and extended an invitation to come complete a gallery residency.
The student artists had a group of carvers and painters which were in a constant rotation throughout the week. Artists were from all schools throughout the University, except for Fine Arts, surprisingly. Student artist Kururangi Johnson of Ngāti Porou descent considered the degree of the artists irrelevant as the kaupapa of the residency was to showcase one’s culture and present opportunities to the children. He believes young artists should give it a go and pursue their creative outlets through tuākana like himself and Te Whare Whakairo.
In their first official event, Te Whare Whakairo have not only gained valuable experience, but have been presented new opportunities. The Toi Ora exhibition has secured the student artist school visits and chances to talk to people. Johnson stated that, “going upwards means looking downward”, in regards to the future generation of Māori artists, creatives and writers.
Student carver Hikawai Te Nahu of Te Arawa believed the best part of the week was to be with the children. “Seeing the glisten and the twinkle in the eyes of our tamariki as they watched with admiration, foreseeing themselves as tomorrow’s caretakers of our traditional Māori art forms.”
Other carvers shared these sentiments saying that being able to share kōrero and produce something worthwhile in front of tamariki, made their weeks.
The Toi Tū Toi Ora gallery may be their first official appearance, but Te Whare Whakairo do not plan for this to be the last. Toi Tū Toi Ora has only empowered the group of students as they are now seeking a permanent art space on campus.
Kua tahi wiki e noho ana “Te Whare Whakairo o Waipapa Taumata Rau” ki te whare toi o Tamaki hei tautoko te whakamutunga o te Toi Tū Toi Ora whakaaturangata. He roopu tauira Te Whare Whakairo nō ngā whare wananga o UoA rāua ko AUT e kawe ana ngā tikanga me ngā ahurea o te toi Māori.
I ahu mai tēnei tono nā ngā kaiwhakahaere o te whare toi. I te noho ngā kaiwhakairo o Te Whare Whakairo ki te whare o “Keepers Cottage” ki Albert Park hei whakaatu ngā ahurea o te toi Māori. Ki te taha o te whare whakairi toi o te “White Space Gallery” i noho ai ki te whakaharatau, whakapakari ngā pūkenga whakairo. Ko Te Whare Whakairo ngā kaitoi Māori tuatahi ki Keppers Cottage, te tino honore! Nā tēnei whakairi toi i tutaki mai ngā kaiwhakahaere o te whare toi o Tamaki ki te tono ki ngā tauira o Te Whare Whakairo, Nga Tauira Māori hoki hei whakakapi te mutunga o te Toi Tū Toi Ora Whakaaturanga.
I kī te roopu o Te Whare Whakairo i ngā tauira nō ngā kura katoa o te whare wananga, hāunga te kura toi. E ai ki tētahi kaiwhakairo ō Ngāti Porou a Kururangi Johnson, “he aha rā te tohu o te tauira, ko te tino kaupapa o te whakairi toi ko te whakawhanaungatanga me te whakanui i tō tātou ahurea.” Ki tā Johnson me aruaru te hunga rangatahi ki ngā mahi toi, ā nā ngā roopu hou pērā ki Te Whare Whakairo he hinonga mō te akiaki i ngā mahi toi, ā ngā tamariki hoki.
E whakaaetia nuitia e ngā tauira ko ngā tamaiti te tino whakahirihiritanga o te wiki. E tā Hikawai Te Nahu ō Te Arawa, “ko te piari ō ngā karu me te miharotanga ki ngā tuakana. Ko te pohewatanga o ngā tamaiti hei kaitoi ā mua. Koena te whakahirhiritanga.”
Nā enei mahi kua tono e ngā kura ki Te Whare Whakairo hei korero ki ngā tamaiti, hei whakamana hoki tō tātou ahurea. Ko te ahua nei ka nui te mahi o Te Whare Whakairo. Ko tā rātou wawata ki te whai wāhi pūmau ki te whare wananga hei mahi toi hei wāhi hui hoki. He rangatira te mahi nei ka tika te kōrero, ehara i te mea poka hou mai, nō Hawaiki mai anō.