Kaupapa – Ngā Aho Whenua – threads of the land, weaving people, places, and ideas together forming a vibrant woven fabric to nurture future generations of weavers.
On January 26th the Māoriland Charitable Trust welcomed the very first Weavers of the Ngā Aho Whenua Residency. Loved and respected master weaver, Sonia Snowden and Pip Devonshire were accompanied by whānau, colleagues, weavers, artists and friends to a pōwhiri at the Māoriland Hub. An auspicious day for hapū of Ōtaki and the ART Confederation celebrating this inaugural event, marking the commencement of a new arts development initiative by the trust.
Ngā Hapū o Ōtaki and descendants of the ART Confederation make up a community distinguished by the Whakatupuranga Rua Mano language revitalisation strategy implemented by Ahorangi Whatarangi Winiata. The wealth of the people has been extended by the traditional art forms and practices of Raranga and Whakairo for nearly 27 years. Both Sonia and Pip’s contributions are recognised through this residency, Ngā Aho Whenua. The opportunity to explore and develop new works also marks an exciting time for them to weave fulltime.
This kaupapa is an expression of the trust’s commitment towards the first of many steps building succession; capability and capacity in the realm of Te Whare Pora, Whatu and Raranga. Specially designed to manaaki – provide administrative, curatorial and wrap-around support for the first Artist in Residence programme in the Toi Matarau Gallery, at the Māoriland Hub in Ōtaki.
The aim of the 12-month residency is to enable communities to experience high-quality arts through interactions with two renown exponents of toi Māori as they create new works for a number of significant exhibitions and engagements.
Weavers Sonia Snowden & Pip Devonshire
Ngā Puhi, Ngāti Wai, Ngāti Hine, Ngāti Whātua
Ngā Tohu ā Tā Kingi Ihaka | Sir Kingi Ihaka Awards recognising lifetime contribution.
Life long Toi Iho artist and member of Te Kāhui Whiritoi, a group of master weavers conferred by Te Roopū Raranga Whatu o Aotearoa and the National Māori Arts and Crafts Institute, Te Puia.
A nationally-known and innovative weaver who has exhibited her work around the world. Pip has also curated national exhibitions, worked as a raranga tutor of Māori Art and Design at Te Wānanga o Raukawa for over 20 years.