Kōwhaiwhai

3 September 2016 – 6 February 2017

Five significant works of art that look to traditional Māori architecture to inform modernist and contemporary Māori art practice.

As in Western art history, the development of Māori art maintains a significant connection with architecture. The wharenui (communal meeting house) is a sacred place for ceremony, with wood carvings adorning the interior and exterior of the building according to the whakapapa (genealogy) of its people. Kōwhaiwhai is the painted design on the rafters of the wharenui.

This exhibition features works of art by Michael Parekowhai, Buck Nin, Darryn George, Gordon Walters and Shane Cotton, each of which draws on shapes, forms and concepts within the wharenui for content, bringing them into the hard-edged geometric abstraction of modernist and contemporary Māori art.