Kindred brings together a selection of work by five New Zealand studio furniture designers — Kennedy Brown, David Hakaraia, David Trubridge, Tim Wigmore and Carin Wilson — who each offer a new perspective on what it might mean to work within a diverse cultural environment, and specifically what it means to work within a context informed by both European and indigenous influences.

The cultural identity for many New Zealanders is hybrid; an affinity of converging histories as well as distinct lifestyles and beliefs that are drawn from the nation’s multicultural makeup. As a result many creative works express notions of hybridity in their aesthetic and thematic composition.

The work shown in Kindred varies in its engagement with Maori and Pacific knowledge: some reference well known mythologies or make commentary on historical and political tensions while others draw upon the functions and forms of customary objects or the significance of particular indigenous materials. What they all share, however, is a marriage of Maori or Pacific inspiration with modern manufacturing methods and tooling processes, such as laser cutting or computer controlled cutting machine (CNC) routing. The impetus for these design solutions comes from a desire to create contemporary, functional furniture that acknowledges New Zealand as a place with Maori as tangata whenua, located within the Pacific. Kindred reflects a growing desire for a new contemporary design language, one that better reflects the complexity and cultural overlap in the everyday New Zealand experience.

Curated by Jodi Meadows
Creative New Zealand Pasifika Intern
Supported by Tautai Contemporary Pacific Arts Trust

12 June - 23 August 2015

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Photos: Sam Hartnett