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Exhibition all about Keeping Bloodlines Strong

KE Design & Auahi Kore
Media Release
30 May 2008

Exhibition all about Keeping Bloodlines Strong

Seventeen contemporary Maori artists from throughout Aotearoa have come to Wellington to open Bloodlines, a multi-media exhibition during Matariki, the Maori New Year, with the theme of “keeping our bloodlines strong.”

This exhibition of significant new works of painting, weaving, carving and ta moko (tattoo) brings together contemporary Maori art from a group of established artists that includes Phil Berry, Simon Lardelli, Jack Brooking and Mark Kopua –many have exhibited internationally in Canada, the USA, Australia and Singapore, as well as throughout New Zealand.

Opening on 12 June, the display at Wellington’s Academy of Fine Arts on the waterfront will feature over 80 works. The curators believe that it’s a great opportunity for Wellingtonians to find a special art work for their home or art collection.

“It’s about taking a glance at the indigenous culture of this land. A place where you can go and experience Maori art in a relaxing and positive environment,”explains co-curator, Tai Kerekere.

As well as promoting Maori art and artists, Bloodlines contains strong health messages and a definite youth focus.

Presented in partnership with Auahi Kore (Smokefree), the concept of the exhibition is to emphasise that health, arts and culture are equally important for everyone’s future wellbeing.

It's expected that over 450 students will be coming through the gallery to take part in the rangatahi (youth) workshops where they will learn and experience arts, culture and health issues – conveying the values of having a smoke-free environment and attitude to life.

Tai Kerekere says that a highlight of Bloodlines is showing youth that there can be a career in the arts for them, if they want it.

“We’re immensely proud to have such high-calibre artwork on show for the Wellington public and for the school students who will be passing through our doors,” he adds.

Daily sessions are open to the public from 13 – 22 June for people to experience ta moko, carving, weaving and painting demonstrations, where people can meet the artists face-to-face.

The exhibition closes on 29 June. A future exhibition and gathering is planned for 2009 where Maori artists have been invited for an arts exchange with indigenous Tlingit artists in Sitka, Alaska, USA.


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