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Màori Art to feature at Cambridge University

31 October 2005

Màori Art to feature at Cambridge University

A lifesize Perspex wharenui will feature in an exhibition at the University of Cambridge's Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology opening next year.

The Pasifika Styles Exhibition will showcase work by some of Aotearoa-New Zealand's best artists and craftspeople alongside the Museum's Oceanic collections. Visiting artists will offer gallery demonstrations, workshops and performances , and will be invited to engage with the taonga on display in the Museum's galleries and in its stores.

Te Waka Toi chair Elizabeth Ellis said the exhibition will show that contemporary Màori art can hold its own in an international context.

"Màori artists are drawing from their cultural base to produce work that is cutting edge and thought-provoking," Ms Ellis said.

In its latest funding round, Te Waka Toi, the Màori arts board of Creative New Zealand has offered a grant of $27,000 to Auckland-based artist George Nuku towards the marae, which will be installed in front of the entrance to the museum in time for the opening of the two year exhibition. The artwork entitled 'Out of Space Marae' will be carved from clear Perspex, allowing light to reach all the corners of the house.

Exhibition co-curator Amiria Henare said Out of Space Marae would create a dramatic entry point into the exhibition and the museum as a whole.

"The work will be prominently displayed and will draw the attention of local and university communities as well as that pf many tourists to Cambridge, a city which attracts over 4 million international visitors a year," she said.

Te Waka Toi is also supporting five other artists, Hemi Macgregor, Natalie Robertson, Suzanne Tamaki, Wayne Youle, and Tracey Tawhiao towards travel to take part in the exhibition with grants totalling $15,300.

Creative New Zealand's Pacific Arts Committee is also supporting artists to take part in the exhibition including a $6000 grant which has been offered to Ole Maiava and Darryl Thomson of Auckland towards producing a short documentary about Out of Space Marae.
For this funding round Te Waka Toi received 108 applications for project funding seeking $2.4 million. A total of $599,678 is being offered to 42 projects.

Ms Ellis said the projects funded showed an exciting range and diversity in both traditional and contemporary arts.

"The round also showed a strong interest in Màori stories and writing which has been reflected with a large number of grants in the literature area," she said.

They include

* $5300 to Albert Belz to publish his play Awhi Tapu
* $6200 to Huia Publishes for Kissing the Shadows by Renee
* $10,000 to Huia Publishes for a journal of Màori writing
* $6000 to the Màori Literature Trust to provide mentoring opportunities for Màori writers
* $5000 to Reed Publishes for a book on Màori architecture by Deidre Brown

And the team behind the production Maui, which wowed audiences in Wellington earlier this year has been offered a $25,000 grant to hold a two week wananga to develop and refine the show.

"Maui was an incredibly exciting and mesmerising show which has potential to have continuing success both in New Zealand and internationally. Te Waka Toi is proud to support such an ambitious project," Ms Ellis said.


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