Press Release from Waitangi Treaty Grounds
A new exhibition, Waitangi Wahine, opens on December 10th in the upstairs exhibition gallery at Te Kōngahu Museum of Waitangi. Developed by Upper Hutt’s Expressions Whirinaki Arts and Entertainment Centre, Waitangi Wahine is an exhibition featuring the work of five female Māori artists with reputations for pushing boundaries. The exhibition runs until April 2017.
The exhibition showcases works by Robyn Kahukiwa, Linda Munn, Suzanne Tamaki, Tracey Tawhiao and Andrea Hopkins. The artworks respond to the impact of the Treaty and its effect on Māori today. Together the artists provide political statements on this debate, on the significance and status of New Zealand’s founding document, and the intention, spirit or principles of the Treaty.
Waitangi Treaty Grounds Chief Executive Greg McManus says it is an honour for Te Kōngahu to host such an important exhibition. “A goal of the new museum is to bring significant art exhibitions to the Far North, exhibitions our people would normally have to travel a long way to see. It is exciting to host the work of such prominent Māori women artists and I am sure our visitors will find the exhibition at the same time challenging, refreshing and inspiring.”
Robyn Kahukiwa is one of New Zealand’s foremost Māori women artists. A staunch supporter of Māori rights and the power and prestige of Māori women, she has been exhibiting nationally and internationally for over four decades.
Linda Munn had been involved in protest art since the 1980’s. In 1989 she collaborated with two other Whangarei women in one of their kitchens to design the Tino Rangatiratanga flag, which has been acknowledged as a symbol of Māori sovereignty and used in protest marches and demonstrations throughout New Zealand. The flag features in much of the work in the exhibition.
Suzanne Tamaki’s large scale photographs feature provocative fashion photography to agitate discussions about colonisation, with wāhine-toa (women of strength) featuring prominently. Her work is exhibited and collected extensively throughout New Zealand and the Pacific.
Tracey Tawhiao is a writer, performance poet, filmmaker, qualified lawyer and leading Māori artist. Her artworks are made from newspaper and use Māori symbols and motifs to 'rewrite’ and recreate news stories from an alternative, Māori perspective.
Andrea Hopkins is one of Northland’s leading contemporary painters. She is known nationally and internationally for work which blends cultural semiotics with surreal landscapes. Her practice involves taking everyday identities and Māori motifs and places them against delicately brushed landscapes conveying messages of duality and strength.