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Māpura Studios Present Kotahi Te Moemoeā – A Shared Vision

etcetra etcetra by Sarah Holten

In this exhibition Māpura Studios celebrate and acknowledge the achievement and work of Ululau Ama (recipient of Pacific Toa Award 2022) and Sarah Holten (recipient of Te Tohu Iho Pūmanawa award 2023) in their recognition by Creative New Zealand as outstanding artists.

Both artists have lived with their own personal challenges; art being the common language through which they can express themselves. Māpura Studios are proud to work alongside and support these talented young adults. Their work demonstrates there are no limits to what is possible as a Māori or Pasifika artist with a disability.

Also included in the exhibition are some artworks from selected Māpura Studios artists. Māpura Studios is an inclusive art studio, recognising the unique perspectives and imaginations of our diversely talented people.


Ululau Ama was born in 1994 at Moto’otua Hospital in Apia, Samoa. He had meningitis at 3 months old and was later diagnosed with epilepsy. Ululau has attended Art Therapy classes and is currently an artist at Māpura Studios in Auckland. Ululau’s work includes drawing, printmaking, poetry, music, painting, and sculpture.

He is a visual storyteller, with his Pacific identity weaving through all his art, and many of his works are based on Samoan mythology. He tells stories of Samoa through his work.

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At Māpura Arts Studio, while doing printmaking, Ululau and his mother would play a game to see who could create the most beautiful prints, with no mistakes. These games built the foundation of Ululau’s artistic confidence, and through his tutors he has learned to create with focus, technique, and pride.

Sarah Holten was a Māori artist, of Ngāti Maniapoto and Tūwharetoa descent, born in 1993, who faced significant challenges due to her complex disability. As an artist with Rett syndrome, she was non-verbal and had no autonomous use of her hands. However, this did not stop her from becoming an established artist in the disability and mainstream sectors.

Sarah developed into a confident and dynamic artist, capable of exhibiting works and capturing audiences in the wider Auckland art scene. Her time at Māpura Studio over the past nine years led to special social connections and friendships.

Sarah has been an inspiration to all in her community and whanau, demonstrating with her paintings and artworks that nothing holds her back from achieving. She employed a range of techniques, including a head pointer and the movement of her whole body to create a variety of marks. Her work delights in its complexity, expression, and mood. Sarah created work at home, in her Parnell studio, in the creative environment of Māpura Studios; and during a residency at Te Tuhi.

Māpura Studios warmly acknowledge Sarah and her whanau with her passing in late 2023.


Ululau Ama and Sarah Holten

At The Arts House Trust, Pah Homestead, 72 Hillsborough Rd, Hillsborough

From Thursday 22 February until Sunday 21 April

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