ARTISTS Chelsea Gough, Hemi Macgregor, Matthew McIntyre Wilson, Rachael Rakena, Ngataiharuru Taepa, Taika Waititi, Wayne Youle CURATORS Roma Potiki, Rebecca Wilson
Manawa Taki gathers Māori artists from Wellington or affiliated with local iwi who navigate their cultural identity in distinctive ways.
Rachael Rakena (Ngāi Tahu, Ngā Puhi, Ngāti Pakēhā) explores the ‘space between’ offered by cyberspace. It is represented in her Iwidotnz008 (2002) through overlaid images of underwater figures and email text.
Ngataiharuru Taepa (Te Arawa, Te Āti Awa, Newland) creates kōwhaiwhai patterns out of text, investigating the way early written accounts of Māori art impact on our understanding of customary Māori visual culture.
Matthew McIntyre Wilson (Taranaki, Ngamahanga, Titahi) weaves a metal hīnaki, drawing on memories of his grandparents fishing for trout on the Whakapapa and Whanganui rivers. As Louise J.H. Ryan writes, McIntyre Wilson’s ‘weaving forms part of a journey into his ancestral past to discover his Māori heritage, for himself and for future generations’.
Taika Waititi (Te Whanau-a-Apanui) is a filmmaker. His short film Two Cars, One Night (2004) explores the ways children entertain themselves when left to their own devices. It has been celebrated in film festivals around the world and is nominated for an Oscar in the 2005 Academy Awards.
Wayne Youle (Ngā Puhi, Ngāti Whakeeke, Ngāti Pākehā) pays tribute to—but parodies—Pākehā modernist painter Gordon Walters, known for his koru paintings. Youle’s Walters Park (2004) is a proposal for a new public sculpture for Wellington.
Chelsea Gough (Te Āti Awa, Ngati Mutunga) comments on the history of colonisation in the Southern Hemisphere. A sleeping bag is covered with old maps, including pink-coded countries representing the British Commonwealth. Temporal Imaginings for the South (2005) recalls a tourist backpack covered in badges collected from various visited countries.
Hemi Macgregor (Ngāi Kahungunu, Ngāi Tuhoe) explains that ‘being Māori is a cultural construct—therefore the notion of being a Māori person is developed by each individual, by their own history and upbringing within their whānau, hapū, and iwi’. In his painting Get Up, Stand Up, 4 Eva (2002), patterns based on the tiki shape are concealed in layers of black paint.