Hiria Anderson-Mita: kuhu mai

“‘Kuhu mai'” literally means ‘to come in’. In the context of this exhibition, I’m inviting people into the physical space, into the work, and into the psychological space within the work.” Hiria Anderson-Mita, 2023

Since 1998, Hiria Anderson-Mita (Rereahu, Ngāti Maniapoto, Ngāti Apakura) has been capturing the unassuming and intimate details of everyday life in delicate paintings. Precise framings of the activities of people in her community, which she refers to as “remnants”, are rendered in oil as careful and tender observations of quiet moments between events. 

kuhu mai gathers a selection of paintings that focus on spaces and scenarios unoccupied by human figures. The presence of bodies is, rather, implied—by unworn jandals in a doorway, an unattended glass of wine, or food preparation underway. Empty rooms and dormant homewares extend this absence while negating any sense of abandonment. In Anderson-Mita’s work, this inactivity has its own resonant liveliness—we can imagine the lingering warmth of vacated seats and chatter of exited communal areas. In the absence of figures, we are invited into these situations ourselves.   

Hiria Anderson-Mita gained an MFA with First Class Honours from Whitecliffe College of Art and Design. She was raised in her grandparents’ home in the Waikato and today lives in her whānau homestead in Ōtorohanga. 

09 December - 17 March 2024

Photos by Sam Hartnett 


The Good Oil podcast with Hiria Anderson-Mita