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Maureen Lander exhibition launched at Kerikeri Mission Station

An exhibiton of original creations by internationally renowned Artist Laureate Maureen Lander has been launched at the historic Kerikeri Mission Station.

The artworks, which incorporate weaving and sculpture, are inspired by the deep connections of prominent Ngāpuhi figures like Hongi Hika, Ruatara and Hariata Rongo to the Kerikeri Mission Station and wider Bay of Islands. The exhibition will run until April 2024.

“We approached Maureen to see whether she would be interested in exhibiting some of her artworks at Kemp House and to our delight she agreed, making available the work she wished to be shown, as well as requesting works to be loaned from the Auckland Museum,” says Kerikeri Mission Station Property Lead, Liz Bigwood.

“These are the four works known as Rongo’s Samplers, and we are very grateful to the Auckland Museum for releasing these works into our care for the duration of the exhibition.”

When setting up the exhibition, Maureen described Kemp House as her canvas, and has assembled works that resonate with what happened here and the wider Bay of Islands 200 years ago.

“These are works that speak to the tupuna – ancestors – of this place both Māori and Pākehā, and to the Kaupapa of each, stitching new learnings with highly valued traditions, weaving together narratives of fact and fiction, and giving people the opportunity to engage with this ongoing conversation,” says Liz.

Born in Rawene, Maureen is of Ngāpuhi, Te Hikutu, Irish, Scottish and English descent. She is one of Aotearoa’s leading artists, and was named as a New Zealand Arts Foundation Te Tumu Toi Laureate in 2022. She is described as an active multi-media installation artist who has exhibited locally, nationally and internationally since 1986.

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According to the Foundation, Maureen’s work has helped blaze a trail for Māori artists and significantly contributed to the recongition of weaving in a contemprary art context. In 2002 she was the first person of Māori descent to gain a Doctorate in Fine Arts at a New Zealand university, and since then her quiet determination to disrupt, challenge and evolve has served as a fuel for the next generation of artists.

“This is no ordinary exhibition – this is a very rare opportunity for people to view original work by one of our leading artists in this very significant place,” says Liz.

“We are humbled to be the vehicle showcasing Maureen’s to mahi ataahua – her beautiful work.”

The Kerikeri Mission Station, including Kemp House and the Stone Store, is cared for by Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga, and is a Tohu Whenua. For more information on opening hours visit https://visitheritage.co.nz/visit/northland/kerikeri-mission-station/

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