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Re-Tern: Hokinga Mahara - A Meg Torwl Retrospective

Re -Tern: Hokinga Mahara
- A Meg Torwl Retrospective
March 5 -10 2013
Thistle Hall Gallery
Curators: Elizabeth Kerekere and Treason Seditio

Aoteaora/New Zealand artist Meg Torwl, who has spent much of her artistic career working in Canada, returns to Wellington with an interdisciplinary exhibition Re-Tern: Hokinga Mahara. March 5 -10 2013, Thistle Hall Gallery, Cuba St, Wellington.

Co-curators Elizabeth Kerekere and Treason Seditio in association with the Fringe Festival 2013 Wellington, and LAGANZ present an interdisciplinary exhibition - video, new media, performance, photography, audio, writing.

From a close encounter with a purple starfish to interviewing the Deputy Prime Minister of Afghanistan and Aoteraoa/New Zealand’s beloved Mahinarangi Tocker, to working with local Wellington and international artists, Meg Torwl has done it all. Meg Torwl’s work has often been with communities pushed to the fringes by mainstream society – First Nations, refugees, women, lesbian and gay, people with disabilities, elders; and marine environments. In her work Meg Torwl seeks to discover how our cultural backgrounds inform our approaches to age, gender(cide), race, disability, relationships, art and spirit.

Aesthetically her work traverses closely observed autobiography, photo-journalism, documentary, layered patterning, and magical realism. Her artistic career both in Aotearoa/New Zealand, and in Canada has been defined by learning from mentors, cross-cultural engagement, collaboration, and an interdisciplinary approach.

‘For me it’s always about what’s the story or what’s the image or what’s the issue, and what’s the best way to portray that? Is that video... is that radio, is that an installation? Is it a photo, is it a poem? Is it live, is it recorded?’ – Meg Torwl
From an interview with Philip Patston of Creative Momentum, NZ Facebook: Integrial Media (Events)


Tuesday, 5th March: 2pm-10pm
Wednesday, 6th March – Saturday, 9th March: 12pm-6pm
Sunday, 10th March: 11am-3pm


OPENING TUESDAY MARCH 5th 6pm – 10pm – reception and artist talk with Meg Torwl and collaborating artists. Facilitated by curator Elizabeth Kerekere.

Video Screening: Towards the day...we are all free. 90 mins (a documentary about First Nations Women, and women and girl refugees).

Video Screening: Act Your Age!? 45 mins, That’s so gay! 45 mins, and Where have all the lesbians gone? 7 minutes (total 100 mins)


Meg Torwl works in video, new media, audio, photography, writing and performance, and arts advocacy. Her work has been exhibited, broadcast, published and performed in NZ, Canada, the US, and the UK. Meg Torwl trained in video production through an Out On Screen Queer Video Scholarship Program at VIVO Media Arts Centre (Vancouver 2000). She has produced five new media projects - meditative color and water photography based installations: - Singing Bowls (2004), AQWAI (2006), TIARIKA (2008), Going Coastal, (2010) and PORTAL/PORTAGE (2011). Meg has directed four documentaries which are distributed by Video Out, Act Your Age!? (2000), where have all the lesbians gone? (2001), Dr Sima Simar (2002), Towards the day...we are all free (2007). She produced 50 half-hour programs with Radio New Zealand National’s One in Five disability community program (2007/8), with a focus on youth, art, multiculturalism and policy. Meg has worked with and for Canadian filmmakers Annie Frazier-Henry (2002), and Bonnie Sherr-Klein (2003). She has worked for arts organisations in Community Outreach and Project Coordination for the National Film Board of Canada (2004), CBC TV (2006), KickstArt Disability Arts and Culture (2009/10), BC Regional Integrated Arts Network (2010), and is currently a Board member of KickstArt. Meg was commissioned in 2009 by Balancing Acts to write and perform a solo interdisciplinary show That’s so gay! with director Jan Derbyshire. Meg is a graduate of The Writers Studio 2011, at Simon Fraser University with mentor Jen Currin, and Director Betsy Warland. In 2012 her second poetry chapbook Transit of Venus was short-listed for the Doire Press prize in Ireland. She is a member of the NZ Society of Authors.


Elizabeth Kerekere. Te Aitanga a Mahaki, Te Whanau a Kai, Te Aitanga a Hauiti,
Rongowhakaata, Ngai Te manuhiri, Ngati Ruapani. Director Te Po Kerekere Gallery

Elizabeth has over 30 years of experience working within Maori and other community organizations. She has been active in LGBTIQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, takatapui, intersex and queer) communities for over 20 years with an increasing focus on the health and well-being of takatapui (Maori who identify as LGBTIQ) and queer youth. She is the founder and Chair of Tiwhanawhana Trust for takatapui (since 2000) and sits on the Board of LAGANZ (Lesbian & Gay Archive of NZ Board - since 2007).

Elizabeth’s work in the art sector (since 1985) includes assisting with the design of Te Papa Tongarewa (Te Papa) Museum of New Zealand; being a consultant for Creative New Zealand; and curating exhibitions at the Dowse Art Museum, Hutt City. Elizabeth is also a visual artist who works in a range of media including painting, graphic design, weaving, tukutuku, relief, clay and carving. She recently completed a Bachelor of Maori Visual Arts with her solo exhibition ‘I Te Po Kerekere’ in Gisborne November 2012. Upcoming projects include a commission for the United Nations in New York (2012-13) and a touring exhibition in USA (2013-14).

Since 2002, Elizabeth has managed her own consultancy in Treaty Relations, strategic planning and project management; Te Pō Kerekere Consultants. In 2010 she formed Te Po Kerekere Gallery to reflect her artistic and curatorial focus. Elizabeth is also part way through the first PhD on takataapui, through Victoria University of Wellington. Elizabeth Kerekere will also be curator of an exhibition at the Thistle Hall Gallery, February 11 –17 2013. ‘Te Ha o Hineteiwaiwa’ will present the work of four Maori (indigenous) women artists who consider issues of identity, motherhood and the land.

Treason Seditio is an artist and designer with a strong commitment to social justice.
Treason has exhibited widely within New Zealand in individual and group shows. Her interdisciplinary practice includes sculpture, painting, printmaking and cartooning. She graduated with a a Bachelor of Design (Visual Arts) Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology (2003) and a Diploma in Fine Arts (Honours) from the Design and Arts College of New Zealand (2004). Over the past twenty years Treason has contributed to a number of arts and community organisations including; Corso, Literacy Aotearoa, English Language Partners, Dunedin Fringe Festival and Dunedin Midwinter Carnival. She is currently based in Wellington where she has been teaching print making.


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