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Te Ara Whakaata at the Geoff Wilson Gallery

Press Release – Geoff Wilson Gallery

Artist Names: Gabrielle Belz Keatley Te Moananui Hopkins Alexis Neal Natalie Couch Vanessa Wairata Edwards Faith McManus Simon Kaan Jasmine Horton Maude Cook DaviesTe Ara Whakaata

Location: Geoff Wilson Gallery, Gate 3, NorthTec Campus, Raumanga Valley Road, Whangarei, 0148

Artist Names:
Gabrielle Belz
Keatley Te Moananui Hopkins
Alexis Neal
Natalie Couch
Vanessa Wairata Edwards
Faith McManus
Simon Kaan
Jasmine Horton
Maude Cook Davies

Samantha Farquhar

• Exhibition Start Date: 12 May 2016
• Exhibition End Date: 9 June 2016
• Opening: Thursday 12 May 4pm -6pm
• Gallery Hours: Wednesday 10am -6pm, Thursday, Friday 10am – 4pm
Toi Whakaata Maori Print Collective are dynamic printmakers and are committed to pushing new ideas in their practice. Shown are pivotal works from diverse practices as a form of cultural expression.

Exhibition Outline:

Darkness presses down on the land, the rising sun heaves up, – it is revealed, ka ao, ka ao ka aotea.

Te Ara Whakaata celebrates the ten years since the inception of Toi Whakataa Maori Print Collective. This exhibition revisits pivotal works of artists that are demonstrative of the diverse practices and numerous voices of the many Maori artists who engage in print and by whose continued contribution to a Maori understanding of printmaking have cemented its importance as a form of cultural expression.

Toi Whakataa:

The Toi Whakataa Maori Print Collective, whose name is based on the idea of introducing ink to mark making was established in January of 2006 and emerged from a need to identify printmaking as a valid means of Maori artistic expression. The collective brings together a dynamic new generation of print makers that are committed to pushing new ideas in the practice. The Word ‘Whakaata’ carries connotations of mirroring, of revealing to light, Toi is Art and Whakataa is to make an impression. The exhibition reflects the importance of ‘Whakapapa’ and the Tuakana/Teina relationships in the group. Included are documentary images and video footage from 2016 Toi Whakataa Hui and Wananga hosted by Ngati Parekaawa at Poukura Marae in Taupo.

Artist Bio/s

Vanessa Wairata Edwards

Ngati Tuwharetoa

When asked what kind of artist I am I like to reply ‘a printmaker who likes to weave’. Since graduating in 2002 I have a small studio in Whanganui and have been making work which consists of prints, woven constructed prints, jewellery and drawings, and a few paintings.

I have been working predominantly in dry-point prints and enjoy the quick and graphic look of the imagery, I like to layer works and play with mark making and colour to create at times an almost painterly effect.

My work is a constant comment on my ever changing environment as I have recently become a mother and full time secondary teacher. The work I make now is a reflection of restricted time and energy but a need to express myself creatively whilst constantly trying to balance the many roles I now have.

Faith McManus

Nga Puhi, Ngai Takoto

Much of my work investigates ideas about whakapapa, cultural memory, and personal narrative. I describe my process as ‘tutulage’. I play with the conventions of woodcut, sign and ornamentation to construct new interrelationships.

As an artist I draw upon my Maori and European heritage. My work is based on the interconnectedness of ancestry, myth, and culture.

I love stories, pattern and colour. These elements are layered visually through some combination of print process. Mainly I work with woodcut and painterly applications of ink. I am always trying to push the medium – Can I make it bigger, maybe sculptural, sewn, woven, animated etc.

As well as being a committed artist I am passionate about education. I am a lecturer at Northtec in Whangarei where I teach drawing, printmaking and painting.
Gabrielle Belz

Nga Puhi, Te Atiawa

‘My work crosses a few genres. Primarily I am a printmaker and painter but also a designer of works for the public arena. The works talk about people, identity, history and the land, often incorporating bird imagery.’

‘I see art as a vehicle to transport the viewer to other perceptions or considerations’

Maude Cook Davies

Ngati Hine

Maude Cook-Davies recently returned to Aotearoa after spending almost six years in Australia, where she worked with and initiated contact between Te Tai Tokerau Artist Collectives and Aboriginal artists of Central Queens;and. During that time she successfully built up an extensive network for collaboration and exchange between Indeginous artists of Australia and Maori.

Being back home in New Zealand means Maude can recap and continue to develop and enjoy what she loves to do the most: creating art. Maude’s background is as a textiles designer, she now applies those skills to developing a collection of digital prints transferred onto a ground skin that incorporates new design effects.

Alexis Neal

Ngati Awa

Since completing a Masters degree in Fine Art Media at the Slade School of Fine Arts in London, Alexis has continued to develop her professional practice as a contemporary New Zealand artist. Alongside her professional career Alexis has also fulfilled tutoring positions in both academic and community institutions.

As a practising artist her work involves defining a place for women’s cultural identity and predominately has looked at the duality of artefacts in terms of personal adornment and material culture. Her studio practice is interdisciplinary, combining components of print, sewn feather canvases, weaving and installation works together to address Maori traditional whakapapa in a contemporary context.

Keatley Hopkins

Ngati Wai, Nga Puhi Whanui

Keatley Te Moananui Hopkins was born in 1989 in Whangarei, Northland. He belongs to the Patuharakarere, Te Aki Tai, Te Uri o Hikihiki and Ngati Takapari of Ngati Wai. He graduated in 2013 with a Bachelor of Applied Arts from Northtec and is currently studying towards a Post Graduate Diploma in Maori Visual Arts from Te Putahi a Toi, Massey University. He is a member of Toi Whakataa – Maori Printmakers Collective.

Using the hybrid nature of his identity Keatley’s work is an examination of images, their origins and the way we understand them. Using found images as a base they are reworked to explore the relationship between Te Ao Tawhito (Traditional Maori world) and Te Ao Hurihuri (The contemporary world).

His most recent bodies of work ‘Whispering Time’, ‘After Pardington’ and ‘Hine, e Hine!’ use the printing process to re-examine early European representations of Maori women as ‘Curios of Otherness’, fragmenting and re-contextualising them to liberate them from historical linear-narratives and redefining the relationship between subject and viewer.

ENDS

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