Ehara taku toa i te toa takitahi, engari he toa takitini | My success should not be bestowed onto me alone, it was not individual success but the success of a collective
NUku offers a ceramic journey from an indigenous perspective, bringing together both emergent and established artists as well as members of the Māori clay artist collective, Ngā Kaihanga Uku. Combining the concept of nuku, uku and inherently referencing Papatūānuku, NUku is an exhibition of ceramics that celebrates collaboration and indigenous culture. Whakapapa enriched, each artist brings their unique contribution, sharing a united passion. Together we are more.
Presented alongside Portage 20/20
Star Waka acknowledges past, present and future voyaging to and from Aotearoa in all directions, with the stars reflecting navigation patterns over time and space. Together, the waka and the stars symbolise the universe and the binding together of ira atua (the realm of the gods) and ira tangata (the realm of humans). Star Waka is also the title of Robert Sullivan’s book of poetry, which engages with the imagination and encapsulates our vision to create a symbolic waka in a star-studded universe.
Auckland based Filipino artist Louie Bretaña expands on the role of stars as guides to both navigation and to life with a series of new suspended sculptures. Based on the design of the parol, traditional Christmas lanterns from the Philippines, each work reassigns the object with an indigenous narrative dedicated to a diwata (deity) and embellishes it with contemporary visual narratives by Bretaña. Connecting the old with the new is also a reminder of what was always there – using the figurative and literal action tingala (to look up). Visitors are welcome to lie on mats to view the sculptures, and receive blessings from each celestial deity.
Painter Rob McLeod continues to push the traditional boundaries of painting with this new body of work that challenges his nostalgia for Scotland. While the works themselves break form, so do his own thoughts, manifested in a range of characters that move and melt across the gallery walls and floor. They wear captivatingly wily and distorted references to tartan, bagpipes, songs and music that are inherently connected to the history of painting through colour, shape and form.
To step mindfully onto the farmland to photograph a panorama of the battle site from both Māori and Pākehā points of view. After several footsteps, and with some bafflement, I stop dead in my tracks at a strange sensation deep inside my belly, which today I’m still unable clearly to throw light on. History was here, I grasp that, but this was out of that range. Does earth hold memory, and deliver that memory when the gravity is ripe? Over several recent years, photographer and artist Bruce Connew has roamed the many memorials and gravestones of Aotearoa’s colonial wars to seek out the texts on these testaments to folly. A vocabulary of colonisation.
Finn Ferrier has always been toiling with rope. Lately, he has been creating vessels, or, ropeware objects in conversation with the history and his tacit knowledge of craft. The new and recent works on display in Ferrier’s new exhibition Soft Garniture use materiality to reveal the tension between the maker and the nature of the object. Informed by ceramics, Ferrier's sculptures explore the qualities and limitations of working with rope.