Hereturikōkā – Curators Blog

Taka tonu mai ngā mata o te marama i te rangi me te whenua

Hōtoke or Takurua to some, is like no other season of the year.  Winter months such as Hereturikōkā (August) move and shift toward the next moon and sun cycle while the dynamics of te taiao Māori play out in the heavens above and on the earth below.  The position of the stars, ancient narratives forging their way forward inform how to be present.  Heavy rains, slicing onyx winds, frosty snow dusted mountain tops and bitter cold mornings bite relentlessly.  Here turi kōkā is the month that brings the knees of our babes tucked in behind their mothers to keep warm.    

Then COVID came back, te mate urutā, another strain, another lockdown at Level 4 across the nation.  Armed with a tailored COVID response plan, Māoriland strategises and operates prepared, in anticipation of the need to pivot when necessary.  Reassessing how to adapt and  continue with the important work of looking after toi Māori, artists and events hosted by Toi Matarau in a safe and uplifting way consistently is always at the forefront.  

One aspiration is ensuring social and economic well-being for artists and their whānau.  Continuity maintaining platforms for both Tiaho Mai, Whiti Ora Exhibitions and toi Māori of Toi Matarau artists is the first focus during any COVID lockdown period.  Curating online exhibitions through the Toi Matarau website increases opportunity and longevity for artists and communities worldwide to reset and prosper as needed.  

For viewing from the comfort of home, a diverse collection of beautiful toi Māori ranging from traditional and contemporary raranga, tukutuku, kaakahu, whatu, tāniko, 2D paint works, digital prints, textile and fibre creations, whakairo, taonga pūoro, body adornment, sculpture, uku, pounamu, rongoā Māori, Māoriland merchandise and a growing Māori book selection for all ages.  Showcasing more than 50 participating artists, Toi Matarau is updated at regular intervals refreshing with new works and new artists; emerging, established and high profiled.

Special mention acknowledges Pip Devonshire and Sonia Snowden who after completing 6 months of their 12 month residency Ngā Aho Whenua, have created new works and participated in many activities embracing Ōtaki and surrounding communities in their weaving practices.  The next 6 months is packed with more projects and activities to tantalise the curiosity and growing interest of Kāpiti and beyond as they also strive to grow relationships and collaborative experiences with local weavers.

-Maakarita Paku