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.
Here's Johnson in our Education Room with students from Te Aro School.
...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
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
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
He iti rā, he iti māpihi pounamu
Small indeed, but made of greenstone
Otari School, Y6 -8
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
Koia kāhore nei i rapu, tē kitea
He who seeks will find; he who doesn’t seek will not find
Clyde Quay, Y5-6
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