Lonnie Hutchinson: Hoa Kōhine (Girlfriend)


Lonnie Hutchinson’s intricately cut-out billboard celebrates supportive friendships between women

When we invited Lonnie Hutchinson to make a new artist billboard, we asked her to consider the significance of the year 2018. 125 years ago, women in Aotearoa New Zealand claimed the right to vote after a fierce campaign. Hutchinson’s work communicates a strong female energy and its title, Hoa Kōhine (Girlfriend), refers to warm and supportive friendships between women.

You may have seen Hutchinson’s Kahu Matarau adorning the exterior of a building in the Justice Precinct on Lichfield Street, like the feathers of a kākahu or traditional cloak. The patterns on this billboard use the same feather or teardrop shape, assembled here into flower patterns. Hutchinson was thinking of the European women settlers who brought lace curtains with them from home, as well as customary Māori crafts like tāniko and weaving with muka. “I make work”, she says, “about women’s histories and the things that women do.”