10 May – 24 August 2003
Te Puāwai o Ngāi Tahu brings together twelve Ngāi Tahu artists in an exhibition that reveals the excellence and diversity of contemporary Ngāi Tahu visual culture.
Te Puāwai o Ngāi Tahu brings together 12 Ngāi Tahu artists in an exhibition that reveals the excellence and diversity of contemporary Ngāi Tahu visual culture.
The word puāwai means to blossom or to flower. The works in Te Puāwai o Ngāi Tahu represent the progressive blossoming of Māori art – from timeless cultural expression to modern interpretation. Puawai also relates to the definition of Puāwaitanga in Māori art – often referred to as being a classical period of Māori culture.
Ngāi Tahu Māori have strong connections with the site of the Gallery, so it was fitting to present Te Puāwai o Ngāi Tahu as one of the opening exhibitions. The exhibition symbolises the cultural significance of the new Gallery's site through the use of wai (water) imagery to represent the pu, or metaphorical source of creative Ngāi Tahu expression. The inclusion of three Ngāi Tahu taonga refer to the Māori history of the site, introducing Ngāi Tahu cultural concepts and providing an entry point into the exhibition.
The 12 artists, both established and emerging, present a diversity of ideas, approaches and materials. Some have produced new works specifically for the exhibition; others are represented by significant existing works. The artists include Cath Brown, Neil Pardington, Chris Heaphy, Ross Hemera, Areta Wilkinson and Nathan Pohio.