Leading up to the 150th Commemoration of the return of Te Kooti Rikirangi Te Turuki and his followers (Ngā Whakarau) from Wharekauri, landing at Whareongaonga on 9th July 1868, this exhibition, POUWHARE - A Pillar of Strength is a visual artists tribute to the koroua.
POUWHARE offers a platform for the artists to voice their stories celebrating their connections to Te Kooti Rikirangi Te Turuki through their whakapapa, the stories of their tīpuna that served with him throughout his campaign, or stories of their tīpuna who were followers of the Ringatū faith.
The contribution from the twelve artists weaves together various historical records and whānau kōrero including reference to the 12th day of the month, a key date, where gatherings are held by the Ringatū. Additionally to the Sabbath (Saturday), there are four important days, or rā, on the Ringatū calendar. These are known as ngā pou o te tau (the pillars of the year); 1st January, 1st June, 1st July and 1st November. 1st July marks the beginning of the seventh month, the ‘sabbath of the sabbath’; and celebrates the cycle of renewal, or coming from death at the beginning of spring.
A special acknowledgement to Creative New Zealand for funding POUWHARE. It’s imperative that artists from our smaller, more isolated regions are supported, to highlight to our communities the level of excellence our local artists are delivering and achieving. Our communities don’t often get to see the professionalism and expertise of our Tairawhiti artists, especially through a printed catalogue.