Maori Art Market, Porirua, Wellington 2011 : )
Coming into the end of my second year degree, i was sent with the Toihoukura Crew down to Porirua for 7days to work & exhibit at Maori Market. It was an en-thrilling experience of culture, art & new city scopes. It had been a rough year for me personally as well as the first months of my daughter’s life, so it wasn’t any easy decision to go.
The trip down was awesome. We left Gisborne early in the morning tag-teaming the vehicles – girls in the mini-van & Mama driving the boys down in the big van. Being my first road trip down to Wellington, it was exciting new territory – like seeing all the wind turbines!! LOL.
Our stay was pleasant but on a strict schedule of manakitanga (catering on stay at marae), practices for & at the opening of each day with an official Powhiri (welcome) & performing bracket, followed by shifts monitoring Toihoukura’s exhibit booth as well as Principle Tutor Steve Gibbs & Principal School Director Derek Lardelli’s exhibit booths. In between our commitments to the trip, we had free time to wonder & explore about the many exhibit booths & market surroundings including the swimming complex, Pataka Museum, Porirua Township & Wellington CBD. Each day was a fun-filled experience & the inspiration was invigorating.
My highlights would include: Overcoming a long overdue welcome back to the stage of Kapa Haka performing, visiting Wellington City for the first time, Te Papa & Whare Waka, most definitely the market itself, meeting inspiring leading Maori artists such as June Grant & Te Rongo Kirkwood & sharing it all with my girls K.E.T.A & the crew from Toihoukura – true to form with the odd drama here & there not to mention some AWESOME nights out : D
It was a time of togetherness, learning, opportunity, culture & art all under the one roof! I took every chance i could to network & enjoy the experience. I made sure to make some ‘small’ purchases & get my book signed by as many of the amazing & talented Maori artists as i could. I cherished every day & moment but missed my family & babies dearly. I was happy to return home : ) It is most definitely one of the best cultural experiences i have ever had!!
Tihei, Mauri Ora.
Alas, The Breath of Life.