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.
- Exhibition number: 703
The Seven Sisters are prominent peaks on the undulating wall of the volcanic crater that forms Lyttelton Harbour. This wall – a geographical feature known generically as a ‘caldera’ because of its resemblance to a Spanish cauldron, or cooking pot – dominated the view from the studio in which Lonnie Hutchinson worked when she made this work. Sista7 is Hutchinson’s personal response to the mass and grandeur of this natural landscape – ‘my story, my myth’. Cut from building paper, the delicate, interlaced patterns envelop the ancient and solid mountain forms like mists. (Brought to Light, November 2009)
The dimensions given here are for one of this work's seven individual parts. The spacing between each part, and thus the width of the entire work, can vary. In this image from the exhibition Te Puāwai o Ngāi Tahu (10 May – 24 August 2003), the parts are installed 300mm apart.