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Maori ‘tu be map’ language in London Exhibition

First ever ‘tu be map’ in New Zealand Maori language part of three week exhibition in London

tu be -

Media release – June 12, 2008

First ever ‘tu be map’ in New Zealand Maori language part of three week exhibition in London

A giant London tube map painting -- with all stations in the Maori language -- is featuring in a three week solo exhibition in London this month.

New Zealand artist Shona Moller is holding the exhibition at Bloomsbury, during Wimbledon tennis fortnight.

The exhibition has started in Great Russell St, near the Tottenham Court Rd, Holborn and Russell Square tube stations.

More than 200,000 New Zealanders enter the UK every year. Around 31,000 Kiwis live and work in London according to the Home Office, though that figure is reality is much higher.

The exhibition will be a major art drawcard for them and all Kiwi expats living in or outside the M25.

Moller, who has English and Maori heritage, will be exhibiting works from her ‘tu be’ series in which she has taken the iconic London Tube map and replaced all the English place names with Maori names.

Waterloo has become Tirau, Leicester Square has become Taupo, Bond St has become Taihape and Canary Wharf is now Paeroa.

``The map is geographically correct but has north on the right not the top, so it could be used. It is appropriately titled ‘tu be’ (e tu in Maori means stand up) and ‘to be’ being an infamous Shakespearian quote about life or death.

``The artwork is a social commentary on the Anglicisation of New Zealand and the imposition of one culture upon another,’’ she said.

The exhibition will be held June 12-27 at Gallery 47 in Great Russell St in Bloomsbury.

Over the last 200 years Bloomsbury has been home to Charles Darwin, Charles Dickens, John Maynard Keynes, Virginia Woolf and Bob Marley among others.

The gallery is located between the British Museum (opened 1759) and the now abandoned ‘British Museum’ tube station.

Nearly a third of Moller’s paintings are currently bought by overseas collectors, mainly in the UK. Collectors in the USA, Australia, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Canada, Holland and Singapore have also bought her work.



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