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Mauri Ora! New Art by Robyn Kahukiwa

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Mauri Ora! New Art by Robyn Kahukiwa

An exciting show of new works by leading artist Robyn Kahukiwa that opens at Uxbridge on
2 September calls on Maori to celebrate their identity.

This landmark exhibition has taken over three years of intense preparation and is the first body of work by Kahukiwa to tour nationally since her groundbreaking Wahine Toa exhibition in the early eighties. Over 18,000 people visited Mauri Ora! at the Waikato Museum of Art and History.

Robyn Kahukiwa began painting in 1967 as a young housebound mother in Greymouth. She developed her individual style entirely without formal training and has become one of the best-known contemporary Maori women artists.

The culmination of a decade of paintings and sculptures on related themes, it is a mixed media exhibition including oil paintings, wood sculpture, watercolours, digital print, action figures and mixed media installation. Curated by Giles Peterson, it is organised and toured by Auckland-based Pacific Age Art.

Peterson describes the exhibition as “a window to the dynamic exchange between the art, spirituality, politics and history of Maori culture.

“As a storyteller Robyn tells passionate tales of Aotearoa – about the land, the people – about strength and survival. About finding and celebrating the ‘ordinary hero’ in all of us.

“It is thought-provoking powerful work that leads the viewer to examine issues that face Maori today.”

Mauri translates as the life force or life principle, and Ora means alive or well, while together in Maori forms of public speaking the phrase Mauri Ora bestows wishes for a long, productive and meaningful life.

“We will always be the Tangata Whenua of Aotearoa”, says Kahukiwa. “Let us celebrate our identity. Mauri Ora!”

With its messages and symbols of hope, strength, and celebration, Mauri Ora! is an exhibition that will impact on all who see it – Maori and non-Maori alike.

Uxbridge, Howick’s Creative Centre, is the only Auckland venue for the exhibition and is located at 35 Uxbridge Road Howick. Mauri Ora! is part of AK03, the inaugural Auckland Festival.

The exhibition is open to the public free of charge from 2 September until 3 October.

Opening hours are 10am to 4pm on weekdays. It will also be open on two weekends (20 & 21 and 27 & 28 September) and open till 9pm on 25 & 26 September and 2 & 3 October.

Uxbridge is supported by Manukau City Council.

For further information contact Uxbridge, Howick’s Creative Centre, on 09 535 6467 or www.uxbridge.org.nz.

-ends-
August 2003

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