I was thrilled to recently be invited to Hamilton to do this moko kauae in the home of the recipient, surrounded by a good 80+ whānau members and friends.
Due to open on 2nd December in Hartham Place, Porirua, this exhibition is set to be a diverse, unpredictable and exciting mix of seven young Māori female artists. Included in Toi Wāhine 2015 are female painters, moko artists, a writer, a jewellery designer and a film maker, all with some kind of affiliation to and affection for Porirua City.
The idea was born from seeing a call for proposals that was put out by Letting Space's service Urban Dream Brokerage, a radical and conscious organisation that makes use of empty and vacant shop spaces, transforming them for a short time into living, breathing, useful community based spaces.
Our exhibition will open on Wednesday 2nd December and run through till Tuesday 22nd December (please mark it in your calendars). Located under the canopies in Porirua by where childrens clothing store 'TnT' used to be! Details of the official opening event are still to come, so if you are interested then please stay posted (join my mailing list).
An exciting programme of events is currently being developed by our group, with each individual artist running a workshop for the public to come along and participate in, learn, share and contribute. Live tā moko will also be happening in the exhibition space throughout the three week period, including moko kauae.
Contributing artists in Toi Wāhine 2015 are:
Xoe Hall (muralist, glitterist and painter)
Sian Montgomery-Neutze (multimedia artist, painter and moko artist)
Miriama Grace-Smith (multimedia artist and fashion designer)
Keri-Mei Zagrobelna (jewellery artist)
Rangimarie Sophie Jolley (writer)
Taryn Beri (multimedia artist, painter and moko artist)
Pikihuia Haenga-Carkeek (experimental film maker)
So far our group has had two wānanga, sharing ideas and making art together, with more wānanga scheduled to come in the lead up to the opening of the exhibition.
We will have interactive installations, paintings and prints for sale, community workshops, live tā moko happening onsite and lots of other fun and awesome things happening over the three weeks - more details to come.
I hope you can make it along to check it out, participate and support the kaupapa!
I recently spent about a week tattooing in Taihape at Winiata Marae. In general I mostly prefer to stay within my own rohe, and work within areas that I have some whakapapa link or affiliation to (except when I am overseas) - that's just how I prefer to roll whenever possible. However since my partner invited me to work in his rohe at his marae, I was more than happy to pack up my gear and head to Taihape. Furthermore, marae are one of my absolute favorite places to work, along with galleries and museums, so I jumped at the chance to work inside the whare there. As it happened, I did discover a link between my extended whānau and the whānau at Winiata Marae.
It was snowing and really freezing cold the week that we were there, as you can tell by my attire! It's hard to stay fashionable when you are so cold!
Whilst in Taihape I had the pleasure and privilege of tattooing a moko kauae for a local kuia. For me, moko kauae is the epitome of my tā moko practice and it is my favorite type of moko to do. Moko kauae has always been a strong motivating force for me and a large part of why I got into, and have stuck at tā moko. I want to see more and more wāhine Māori take on and wear their moko kauae with pride, strength and dignity - particularly within my own whānau, hapū and iwi.
Some friends of mine at Kikorua Films came and stayed with us for part of our trip and made a little film clip and took some photos. I think they did a great job of capturing the essence of the environment we were working in, and the mahi that we did there.
Moko kauae is a very special and important kaupapa. If you would like to talk me about getting your own moko kauae done, please email me on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks for reading!