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'Toto' - Traces of my past

Traces of my past

It was after an experience on a photographic project at a marae that Toto came to be. Yvonne Tunnicliffe realised that she had a lack of knowledge of her Maori heritage and decided to pursue a path of discovering her own identity.
Toto explores the conceptual and visual elements of self-identity, uncovering the importance of understanding where we come from.

Yvonne had the opportunity to develop ‘Toto’ in her final year of study at Whitireia Polytechnic, under the guidance of photography tutor Professor Tony Whincup.

‘Toto meaning blood has been a powerful project this year to seek more information on her own family’s history I have encountered so many connections and revelations This will be an ongoing project. I hope I inspire others to follow this path too.”

Each image created for the exhibition is based upon her Mihimihi. This was a starting point as it gave her the vehicle to understand what her genealogy was. From there she has taken those aspects and created work that interpreted what she has discovered so far.

‘As an urban Maori I had no idea what my Mihimihi was. Now I know and with this has allowed me to have a focus on what I needed to find out and explore that.’

Yvonne has used photographic montage to illustrate her work bringing the element of pieces being put together of what she knows so far.

Toto, is a modern photographic journey, showing the essence of a search to uncover one’s own connections.

Opening October 17th 2014, at Kura Gallery, Toto is an exhibition of work by 3rd Year Whitireia visual arts student, Yvonne Tunnicliffe.


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