Te Ha O Hineteiwaiwa Exhibiton, Thistle Gallery, Wellington, 2013.
This was my first public exhibition after graduating from Toihoukura in 2012. Curated by my dear friend & fellow graduate Elizabeth Kerekere, she rounded up us girls (all Toihoukura students) to share this exhibition with her : )
“Hineteiwaiwa is the goddess of child birth and te whare pora – the house of learning for weaving and female arts. As the ‘Hā’ or breath, we as Māori women artists acknowledge the rich cultural heritage from which we descend and which informs our contemporary practice. While each artist has her own point of difference, they share a refined design aesthetic in their contemporary interpretations of customary Māori art forms. They also share common interests in issues facing Māori women and whānau.”
Not only was it a highlight to be exhibiting in this exhibition, it was such a fun time for us together. Required to be there to set up, open the exhibition as well as man the gallery for the week, we decided to hire a van, load it up with all our artworks, which was at least 40-50 pieces all varied in size & shape, gass up & set off on a road trip. Christie Patumaka & I booked us a room at an inner-city backpackers while Elizabeth & her partner stayed with family & friends. Unfortunately our mate Toni was unable to accompany us, but she was indeed there with us in thought : )
After an eventful trip down on the Sunday, we awoke Monday morning to head straight to the gallery to begin curating & hanging the show. Christie was a whizz with the hammer & with a change of clothes & few extra hands to serve up some platters we were ready for our 6pm opening.
Elizabeth had a fabulous group of about 50 people (made up of friends, associates, old colleagues etc) turn up as well as the odd family member of our own. She also had her former Kapa Haka group perform for us which was wonderful! Being that i had just launched my creative brand Ariaaariki & innovative art form Toimaikuku – Maori Nail art, I had a space set up to show case my process & designs on the night as well as take bookings for the week we were there.
My self entitled Toimaikuku collection for this exhibition ‘Te Ha O Hineteiwaiwa: Ora (Life), Te Whare Pora (House of weaving & female arts), Raranga (Weaving) & Tukutuku (Female Arts).
“This series of Toi Maikuku photographic images express the elements of Te Atua Wahine, Hineteiwaiwa – Child Birth (Ora), House of learning (Te Whare Pora) for weaving (Raranga) & the female arts (Toi Wahine). Through Toi Maikuku, I also reflect the beauty of our hands, a gift that pulls us into this world & returns us. Our hands allow us to create, embrace, touch & feel – we should respect them & look after them but most importantly appreciate them. “
It was such an amazing week! Christie & I got to know Cuba St very well, did a spot of shopping & took the evenings to explore the city centre. By Thursday though, i was definitely missing my family & ready to get on the bus back home to Gisborne.
Overall, the week long exhibition was a real success with Christie & Elizabeth selling many of there works, leads for others & i managed several bookings as well huge promotion & exposure for my creative brand. We hope to hold another exhibition at this same Gallery in the future : )