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Täne and Rehua at centre of new exhibition

Thursday, October 1, 2008
Täne and Rehua at centre of new exhibition

Tü Te Manu Ora i Te Rangi is the name of a new exhibition which opens on Friday 3 October at the Thermostat Art Gallery in Palmerston North and runs until 16 October.

The exhibition features work created collectively by four artists, three from Massey:

• Hemi Macgregor (Ngäti Rakaipaaka, Ngäi Tuhoe) lecturer in Mäori Art and Mäori Visual and Material in Wellington.
• Ngataiharuru Taepa (Te Arawa, Te Atiawa), lecturer in Mäori Visual Arts in Palmerston North.
• Massey researcher and Mäori language, customs and traditions specialist Dr Rangi Mataamua (Ngäi Tuhoe), also based in Palmerston North.

The fourth artist is Saffron Te Ratana (Ngäi Tuhoe).

Mr Macgregor says the focus of the exhibition is on Täne, the deity of the forest, and Rehua, the star of summer, and investigates the deeper layers of ancient knowledge embedded in Mäori cosmological narrative.

“These narratives provided the platform for the collaborative relationships between us and how the work has evolved and connected. The exhibition fuses together all four practices to produce another level of dialogue through the contrast and connection of materials.”

Mr Taepa says they have all been mentored by a generation of kaumätua, who have encouraged them to work as a collective. “Our mentors have included Sandy Adsett, Manos Nathan, Kura Te Waru Rewiri, Timoti Karetu, Taiarahia Black and Bob Jahnke. We have been working alongside one another for the past 10 years and this is the beginning of us creating work together and exhibiting it within a public forum.

“In this exhibition we have all had a hand in, or some part in, each other’s work, together this produced the installation.”

Mr Taepa says they have also been encouraged in their collective approach by Catherine Russ at Thermostat Gallery, who is committed to showing the variety of what art has to offer. “She is an artist herself and has supported and enabled us to playfully explore and exhibit Tü Te Manu Ora i Te Rangi.”

Caption: Part of the installation from the Tü Te Manu Ora i Te Rangi exhibition.


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