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Veiled Legacy - Paintings By Diane Prince

Veiled Legacy - Paintings By Diane Prince, 23 Feb - 25 March 2001

22 February 2001 Press Release Veiled Legacy - Paintings by Diane Prince 23 February - 25 March 2001 360 / Michael Hirschfeld Gallery

Howling dogs and nooses of bridal lace are some of the images that Diane Prince has used in a new exhibition, which explores the effects of 1880s colonial legislation on Mäori women.

A veteran of the Bastion Point land protest and a commentator on issues affecting Mäori, Diane Prince(Ngä Puhi / Ngäti Whatua) has researched a ruling in the late 1880s that saw all marriages, including those between Mäori, fall under English common law. Communal rights to land in Mäori society did not distinguish between men and women, but under English law, a woman's property become the property of her husband. Prince concludes that marriage by English law effectively confiscated Mäori women's rights to their land.

Her dark wood panels are inscribed with ghostly wedding dresses and veils, and female figures with their hands raised in protest at the past grievances. But Veiled Legacy also speaks of Mäori women's ongoing strength and resilience, says Prince. "It is recorded that in Hawke's Bay in the early 1880s large numbers of Mäori women refused to enter into marriage in order to retain their land and mana. This stand was just part of the greater organisational endeavours by Mäori women to assert their customary roles as leaders - both to agitate for the retention of the land, and to gain the vote in Te Kotahitanga, the Mäori Parliament, and in the New Zealand Parliament."

Diane Prince's weaving, installation and painting has been exhibited widely. Her work was included in the important exhibitions Mana Tiriti at the Wellington City Art Gallery and Korurangi: New Maori Art at the Auckland Art Gallery. She is also well known for her set design including the sets of recent plays by Briar Grace Smith and Witi Ihimaera. Her commissioned woven waka was recently installed at Tapu Te Ranga Marae in Island Bay, Wellington.

Veiled Legacy - Paintings by Diane Prince is presented within the programme 360 - a full perspective on Wellington Art, which is generously sponsored by Designworks.

For more information, images, photo opportunities please contact:

Anne Irving Publicist T: 04 801 3959 F: 04 801 3950 Home & Away: Contemporary Australian & New Zealand Art from the Chartwell Collection 3 Feb - 31 March 2001 Admission Free Failed Legacy - Paintings by Diane Prince 23 Feb - 25 March 2001 Check out:

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