Matariki Ring of Fire follows Emily Karaka’s 2021 McCahon House residency. The exhibition centres on the festival of Matariki, which is being marked by a public holiday for the first time in 2022, the Matariki star cluster, and the fourteen Tūpuna Maunga of the Tāmaki Makaurau region.
This exhibition features work created by students from two local schools as part of a collaborative research project in partnership with the University of Auckland | Waipapa Taumata Rau. Combining science, mātauranga Māori and the arts, students explore ways to contribute to ngahere ora as kaitiaki in response to kauri dieback and myrtle rust.
Malaloi—presented in Te Uru's window space—speaks directly to the urban environment, comprising a scaffold structure upon which concrete-dipped garments donated by Koloi's family and her wider Pacific community are hung. It addresses the separation of people from the land, the effects of industrialisation and capitalism within Pacific communities, and the shared responsibility of humanity, past, present and future, to tread lightly on the earth.
Whanganui photographer Tia Ranginui (Ngāti Hine Oneone) puts her own spin on patupaiarehe, sometimes described as Māori fairy folk. Said to live in the mountains and forests, away from people, in Ranginui’s work they are out and about in the Whanganui suburbs of Gonville and Castlecliff. They still conjure the mist, only now it's supplied by smoke machines and vapes.
Elizabeth Thomson's practice engages with science, imagination, culture, and fundamental questions about humanity’s place in nature and what citizenship means within this expanded realm. Cellular memory surveys these enquiries, attesting to Thomson’s life-long commitment to grappling with natural and human histories, as well as the lasting influence of her childhood in Titirangi.
This mid-career retrospective brings together garments created by designer and fashion activist Jeanine Clarkin. Spanning her thirty-year career, the exhibition explores Clarkin’s early influences, significant milestones, and enduring passion for sustainability, with her Māori identity a common thread through it all.