Tuākana Tāina explores an intimate collaboration of resilience through creative activation. Over the past seven months, with the wonderful support of Creative New Zealand, the artists involved, leading and aspiring, navigated their way through creative interpretation – resetting, re-framing and re-imagining collaborative and innovative pathways through their creative compass. This exhibition of work brings together the flourishing of mentoring, research and development (skill, conceptual and mātauranga) by the participating artists, working to extend their own practice and support the development of each other.
While the purpose of the project explored collaboration and mentoring, the interconnecting themes within each of the artworks navigated the legacy of Māui Pōtiki, Māui Tikitiki a Taranga, however not only narratives of Māui, but also, and for some of the artists more importantly, the various connections and whakapapa that gave breath to this legacy. The artists were given challenge to not only explore these threads, but also give voice to how these various kōrero resonated within their own personal journey and how these connections have transformed their work, interweaving metaphors to reference and challenge issues and innovations of today, especially during these times amongst and beyond COVID-19.
While this period of time was intense in challenge and at some times high in anxiety, we as artists, as well as our whānau, hapū and community are excited for the future of toi Māori through our next generations. This publication celebrates the flourishing of our teachings, learnings, the support from our whānau and hapū, the hard work of all the artists involved, and most importantly the resilience and excellence of our tāina, ko tātou kaihanga toi, ngā rangatira, ngā mareikura mō āpōpō. Ka tipu anō te whaihanga!
Nei rā ngā mihi nui ki a Toi Aotearoa, Creative New Zealand, mō rātou tautoko mō tēnei whakaaturanga toi Māori, me ngā wānanga hoki.