Tauranga Art Gallery Toi Tauranga is delighted to announce the opening of He kāwai whenua He kāwai whakapapa, an exhibition by local artist Maraea Timutimu (Tūhoe, Ngāi Te Rangi, Ngāti Ranginui).
He kāwai whenua He kāwai whakapapa addresses the centrality of whenua within mātauranga Māori and the ways it can connect us to our stories, histories, identities and whakapapa. Timutimu presents a suite of large-scale colour photographs that are a play on portraiture; stones and rocks are collected from the waterways of her maternal and paternal kāinga at Matapihi, Tauranga Moana, and Rūātoki, Eastern Bay of Plenty. They are composed into totemic forms that poetically stand in for people and places that are important to the artist.
These photographic portraits provide a unique insight into the connectedness of whenua and whakapapa through a Māori lens.
“When we view whenua in its natural state, we see that it is made up of layers.
“These layers all have a whakapapa, derived from the natural pigments of Papatūānuku (mother earth) connecting it to place and time. It depicts us and the makeup of our individual genealogy” says Timutimu.
Tauranga Art Gallery Director Stephen Cleland says: “We’re immensely excited to be unveiling Maraea’s new suite of artworks in the Gallery. Viewed alongside painter Ayesha Green’s current solo-exhibition and a forthcoming large-scale installation by multimedia artist Shannon Te Ao, Timutimu’s poignant reflections on the interconnectedness of whenua and whakapapa promise to be an invaluable contribution to our summer line up.”
Maraea Timutimu holds a Master of Fine Arts from Whitecliffe College. Her work centres around pattern, narrative and community, and uses the concept of whakapapa to inform her practice, process and method of making. Alongside her artmaking she works for Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Te Rangi Iwi Trust, as Project Lead for Te Tai Whanake ki Tauranga Moana. This involves the development of a Ngāi Te Rangi Iwi Curriculum for kura Māori and mainstream education providers in Tauranga Moana.