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Toi Maori The Eternal Thread



Press Release

For immediate release 23.9.05

Five renowned Maori weavers are in Salem, Oregon, USA for the opening of the international touring exhibition ‘Toi Maori - The Eternal Thread’ at the Hallie Ford Museum of Art. Accompanying them are two ta moko (Maori tattoo) artists and a carver. As well as demonstrating their art forms, the Maori artists will meet with native weavers and carvers from the various tribal groups in Oregon, in an exchange of art and culture.

The exhibition follows the highly successful ‘Maori Art Meets America’ event held recently in San Francisco with Salem, Oregon being the second venue in the tour. As with the exhibition in San Francisco, the American public will be able to interact with the artists and talk to them about their highly specialised art forms. Last month, San Franciscans were overwhelmingly positive about having the opportunity to interact and talk with Maori artists about their work. Weaving delegation leader Ranui Ngarimu of Christchurch expects a similar response in Oregon,

‘The Eternal Thread caught the hearts of many who viewed it in San Francisco. I am certain that it will have the same effect on the people of Oregon. I look forward to meeting new audiences, making new friends and sharing our weaving stories and techniques that will provide enriching and enlightening experiences relevant to this wonderful exhibition of Maori art.’

The exhibition will open at the Hallie Ford Museum of Art, at Willamette University in Salem, on 23rd September (24th September NZ time) and continue until December. A spectacular parade involving the local Siletz and Grand Ronde tribes will open the exhibition and welcome the Maori artists.

Garry Nicholas, General Manager of Toi Maori Aotearoa, is excited about the response Maori art is receiving on the international stage,

‘The word ‘Maori’ has immense value in the international arena. Combined with the dynamism and spirituality of the arts it is an awesome force. Maori Arts unlocked a huge audience and confirmed research for a dynamic fit with the vibrancy and beauty of Aotearoa New Zealand.’

‘Toi Maori - The Eternal Thread’ is a showcase of the very best in traditional and contemporary Maori weaving from Aotearoa New Zealand. It is the first major international touring exhibition to celebrate the changing art of Maori weaving. The exhibition was developed by Porirua’s Pataka Museum and toured to three New Zealand venues before travelling to America where it will tour until 2007.

The Maori weavers will demonstrate weaving techniques, take part in panel discussions, and talk to visitors about the 100 pieces of weaving in The Eternal Thread exhibition - a collection of intricately woven kakahu (cloaks), kete (baskets) and whariki (floor mats). The weavers will have a busy two weeks launching the exhibition in Salem, Oregon before returning home to New Zealand to attend the National Weavers Hui at Labour Weekend in Taranaki.


The delegation attending (and regions where they live) is as follows:

Toi Maori - The Eternal Thread exhibition

Hallie Ford Museum of Art, Willamette University

Salem, Oregon, USA

23 Sept to 22 Dec 2005

Weavers delegation

Donna Campbell - Waikato

Elaine Bevan - Otaki

Pip Devonshire – Otaki

Ranui Ngarimu - Chistchurch

Roka Cameron - Whakatane

Delegation members

Darcy Nicholas – Porirua City Council - Wellington

Garry Nicholas – General Manager, Toi Maori Aotearoa – Wellington

Rangiwaiata Tahuparae - Wanganui

Rose White Tahuparae - Wanganui

Waana Davis – Chair, Toi Maori Aotearoa - Wellington

Ta moko / Carvers delegation

Hano Tihema – Gisborne

Hemi Sundgren – New Plymouth

Mark Kopua - Gisborne

Turumakina Duleyz - Auckland

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