Ngahuia Harrison

Aotearoa New Zealand, b.1988
Ngāti Wai, Ngāpuhi, Māori

Te Wairahi

  • 2018
  • Large format photograph
  • Purchased 2022
  • 809 x 635mm
  • 2022/047.a-b

Working primarily with a 35mm camera, Ngahuia Harrison’s creates images that share narratives of her hapū related to wai (bodies of water). Her works consider the past and future histories of Ngātiwai landscape, utilising a Māori worldview of collectivity, co-dependence and reciprocity in community. Ngahuia says: “Te Wairahi was part of the same series Aunty Reo comes from. Aunty Reo is a cousin to my Mum, we connect through both my Nana and my Grandfather. But this is our connection on my Grandad’s side – our awa in Whananaki. I was photographing sites of significance in Whananaki at the same time as taking portraits of the Kuia from there, Aunty Reo is our eldest Kuia.”

The title for this series, E taria ana taku tinana ki te whai i te awa / My Body Will Follow the River, is taken from a whakataukī from Ngahuia’s iwi that talks about the importance of the sea, and how we, like our ancestral rivers, will always flow into the sea. In this region of Northland there are ongoing projects to clean up and restore the health of the rivers, and this photograph of Aunty Reo emphasises the connection of people, land and waterways.

(Perilous: Unheard Stories from the Collection, 6 August 2022- )

Exhibition History