Toituhi is now complete

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Johnson Witehira and Claire Hopkins host Toituhi

During Te Wiki o te Reo Māori/Maori Language Week, we had the great pleasure of hosting artist Johnson Witehira here. Johnson worked with a range of Wellington schools on a collaborative education project called Toituhi.  Johnson created designs using whakataukī (Maori proverbs) chosen by the students, who then filled in the outlines of the letters with patterns. I particularly enjoyed hearing the students describe what the whakataukī meant to them.

Johnson Witehira hosting Toituhi with Te Aro School

Here's Johnson in our Education Room with students from Te Aro School.

Johnson Witehira with students working on the mural

...and here's Johnson with some of the students working on the mural in the Reading Room.


On Friday the mural was completed by students from Otari and Clyde Quay Schools.

Here are all the school's whakataukī:

Te Aro School, Y5-6
Ruma Rimu
Ko te pae tawhiti whāia kia tata, ko te pae tata whakamaua kia tina
Seek out distant horizons, and cherish those you attain

Te Aro School, Y5-6
Ruma Koromiko  
Whāia te iti kahurangi ki te tūohu koe me he maunga teitei
Aim for the highest cloud so that if you miss it, you will hit a lofty mountain

Otari School, Y 6-8
Totara    
He iti rā, he iti māpihi pounamu
Small indeed, but made of greenstone

Otari School, Y6 -8
Tui
Ko taku reo taku ohooho, ko taku reo taku māpihi mauria
My language is my awakening, my language is the window to my soul

Otari School, Y6-8
Ngaio   
Koia kāhore nei i rapu, tē kitea
He who seeks will find; he who doesn’t seek will not find

Clyde Quay, Y5-6
Totara
Ko te tōtara tōtika ki roto i te wao
The straightest, tallest totara (are) in the heart of the forest – in other words, leaders are nothing without others

We also invited to the public to take part at Toi te Reo. Johnson chose a special whakataukī for that evening:
Ehara taku toa i te toa takitahi, engari he toa takitini
My success should not be bestowed onto me alone, as it was not individual success but success of a collective

The project will be on display in the Gallery's upstairs Reading Room until August 10 some come in and check it out.

Ka pai everyone.

Claire Hopkins, Gallery Educator