This exhibition introduces the first of a new series of mixed media works that weaves and responds to so many challenges and issues that simmer beneath the surfaces, that too many of us gaze over, or say, “someone else will sort it out”. Challenges and struggles, even realisations of leadership, accountability, and ownership of such.
When we started this series of work, our concepts, research and development focused on issues of Wai, natural resource management, knowledge, power, control, wai and why?
As we continue to blend work - art, with life, with community, with work, with art (as we do) – we continue to see repetitive patterns throughout all aspects in our communities, our villages. We’ve (our iwi) have created pockets of committees, boards, entities as kaitieki, as governance to ensure we’re care-taking for our future – but it’s no longer enough. So many of our rangatira who were those strong leadership voices and vessels, are gone. And many of us remaining are still sitting waiting to be told what to do (but know what to do), or again leave the work for others.
This series of work is a tribute to our leaders who challenged the status quo to pave pathways of empowerment, breaking barriers by bringing issues to the surface. And when we are referring to leaders, we are talking about those who walked alongside our communities, encouraged us to challenge, to speak up or express view where it must.
We also give huge respect for our whānau who follow in continuing to disrupt and shift space, create place for voice and movement. And for many of us, maybe its time to stop ‘care-taking’ and start ‘taking care’ of our futures. Challenge. Disrupt. BE THE TANIWHA.
A HUGE thank you to Creative New Zealand for their support in the development and presentation of this exhibition. Nei rā ngā mihi nui ki a rātou.