Education Policy | Post Primary | Preschool | Primary | Tertiary | Search

 


Artist connects with grandfather’s burial place


Artist connects with grandfather’s burial place

A Kati Huirapa community project at Puketeraki Marae, in the Otago town of Karitane, has provided an opportunity for a Wellington artist to reconnect with his Ngäi Tahu whänau.

Associate Professor Ross Hemera, from the College of Creative Arts, says his mother told him some time ago that according to oral history his paternal grandfather was buried near the marae, where he is to install a new carved waharoa (gateway) this weekend.

Artist connects with grandfather’s burial place

The waharoa project is to be dedicated on Sunday after a two-year collaboration, between the marae community, and two Ngäi Tahu artists, Ross Hemera in Wellington and James York in Dunedin.

Mr Hemera says his personal connection to the area made it feel like he was following in the footsteps of his ancestors. He says the connection was as strong as the one he feels between himself and the rock drawings left by his forefathers that are a distinctive feature in his work.

“It has been rewarding on so many levels connecting with the Huirapa whänau, least of which is the opportunity to collaborate with other Ngäi Tahu artists,” Mr Hemera says.

“For me working with Mäori communities, especially my own iwi, validates what I do as an artist.” On the waharoa project, he has collaborated with carver James York. While Mr Hemera has been sculpting the totara and aluminium posts (amo) of the gateway from his Wellington studio, Mr York has been working on the (maihi) barge boards from his studio in Dunedin and the two compare notes and collaborate most often by phone, email and occasionally in person.

“Working with other artists, and the community, is an essential part of Mäori creative practice," Mr Hemera says. "As Mäori and as Ngäi Tahu I enjoy the opportunity to contribute to the collective aspirations of the community. When working with our art forms the concept of taonga tuku iho is the pervading kaupapa – the knowledge that comes from the atua [gods), and ancestors – this is treasured, added to and developed and then passed on to others. These concepts also underpin my teaching practice.

“As with the rock drawings, with this project I felt that my forefathers were telling me how to make forms, so essentially whänau, or the concept of taonga tuku iho, is at the heart of all my work.”

The waharoa conforms to a traditional amo and maihi convention, with two side posts and gabled bargeboards. "It is made from totara the customary timber for such structures. The carved elements and surface patterns are reduced to a bare minimum. However, some contemporary elements have been introduced through the use of aluminium components. At it’s widest the gateway spans about 6m and is about 3m high at the apex.”

Mr Hemera has worked at Massey for 14 years in a variety of teaching and researching roles. “Part of my work as an academic at Massey involves creative practice in the visual arts. Another expectation is connecting and working with communities. I feel fortunate that I have been able to undertake both of these aspects within the context of my whänau and iwi.”

Puketeraki Marae manager Suzanne Ellison says the collaboration presented challenges that required negotiation. “The challenge for the hapü was to find the whakaaro (concept) behind the waharoa and the challenge for the artists was to bring this out in the work… the artists can’t do their own thing, they have to work with the community and can take it only as far as people want it to go.”

“The gateway is based on the whakatauki [proverb], ‘Ki uta, ki tai’ – from the mountains to the coast, and reflects the stories about the local area and whänau.”

Mr Hemera and Mr York are also part of an exhibition of the works of six Ngäi Tahu artists that opens at Gallery Thirty Three in Wanaka today and runs until 15 August.

*****


A Kati Huirapa community project at Puketeraki Marae, in the South Island town of Karitane, has provided an opportunity for an artist to reconnect with his Ngäi Tahu whänau.

Associate Professor Ross Hemera (Ngäi Tahu), from the College of Creative Arts, Massey in Wellington, says his mother told him e was talking with his mum and it turns that her father out his grandfather is believed to be buried in the urupa (cemetery) near the marae, where he is to install a new carved waharoa (gateway) this weekend.

“It has been rewarding on so many levels connecting with the Huirapa whänau, least of which is the opportunity to collaborate with other Ngäi Tahu artists,” Mr Hemeera he says.

“For me working with Mäori communities, especially my own iwi, validates what I do as an artist.” On the gateway project, he has collaborated with another Ngäi Tahi artist, with carver James York. While Mr Hemera has been sculpting the totara and aluminium posts (amo) of the gateway from his Wellington studio,. Mr York has been working on the (maihi) barge boards from his studio in Dunedin and the two compare notes and collaborate most often by phone, email and occasionally in person.

“Working with other artists, and the community, is an essential part of Mäori creative practice," Mr Hemera says. "As Mäori and as Ngäi Tahu I enjoy the opportunity to contribute to the collective aspirations of the community. When working with our art forms the concept of taonga tuku iho is the pervading kaupapa – the knowledge that comes from the atua (gods), and ancestors – this is treasured, added to and developed and then passed on to others. These concepts also underpin my teaching practice.”

“The waharoa (gateway) conforms to a traditional amo and maihi, convention, with two side posts and gabled barge boards. "It is made from totara the customary timber for such structures. The carved elements and surface patterns are reduced to a bare minimum. However, some contemporary elements have been introduced through the use of aluminium components. At it’s widest the gateway spans about 6msix metres and is about 3mthree meters high at the apex.,” he says,

Mr Hemera has worked at Massey for 14 years in a variety of teaching and researching roles. “Part of my work as an academic at Massey involves creative practice in the visual arts. Another expectation is connecting and working with communities. I feel fortunate that I have been able to undertake both of these aspects within the context of my whänau and iwi.”

He says the newly built wharenui and wharekai have had a number of carvings completed by Mr York recently. The new gateway collaboration will be dedicated on Sunday. 27 July.

Mr Hemera and Mr York are also part of a new exhibition of the works of six Ngäi Tahu artists which opens at Gallery 33 in Wanaka on Friday and runs until 15 August.

ENDS


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

Howard Davis: Orson Welles' Masterpiece - 'Chimes At Midnight'

Never widely distributed in the US, but Welles' own personal favorite and hugely influential on directors as diverse as Kenneth Branagh and Mel Gibson, a restored 50th anniversary print has now reached the New Zealand Film Festival. More>>

Off To Leeds: Wellington’s Local Naked Girl Spreads Her Wings

Wellington born, bred and based live artist Virginia Kennard, self confessed “local naked girl”, has earned a place on the MA in Performance programme at Leeds Beckett University and flies away in 2 months time. More>>

Free Diving: William Trubridge Breaks World Record

With just a single breath, New Zealand free diver William Trubridge has successfully broken his own unassisted free dive world record of 101 metres. More>>

ALSO:

RLWC 2017 Draw: New Zealand Set For A Festival Of Rugby League

New Zealand Rugby League fans will have the chance to see the Kiwis in action against the best in the Pacific region for the Rugby League World Cup 2017, as announced today at the Official Tournament Draw. More>>

ALSO:

Non-Pokemon News: Magical Park A Safer Augmented Reality For Younger Audiences

Since May, Wellington City Council has been trialling a new app, Magical Park, in collaboration with the game’s New Zealand developer Geo AR Games, in parks around the city. Magical Park uses GPS technology to get users moving around the park to play within a set boundary. More>>

'Erroneous': Pokemon App Makers On Huge Privacy Flaw

We recently discovered that the Pokémon Go account creation process on iOS erroneously requests full access permission for the user's Google account... More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Education
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news