A new collaboration between Creative Manaaki, Māoriland and Kiwibank Paraparaumu resulted in a stunning exhibition of Ngā Toi Māori. Part of the Matariki, Lighting the Beacons Festival, Tiaho Mai describes the action of rays of shining light, to be enlightened. The exhibition showcased more than fifty 2D and 3D authentic traditional and contemporary Māori artworks featuring renowned Toi Iho™ artists, Ngā Aho Whenua Residency Weavers – Pip Devonshire and Sonia Snowden, artists of the ART Confederation of Te Āti Awa, Ngāti Raukawa and Ngāti Toa Rangatira, as well as invited leading and emerging artists.
Artists have acquired their mātauranga Māori knowledge and skills over many years and for many, this was their first time being being able to exhibit in Paraparaumu, at the Creative Manaaki Gallery inside Kiwibank, part of the Art for Everyone programme. Toi Matarau Gallery Kaitiaki Toi Maakarita Paku, curated the exhibition with support from Neke Moa and Pip Devonshire.
Kiwibank has noticed a steady increase in non-banking visitors since the Creative Manaaki Gallery launched in November 2020. ‘We’re excited that Tiaho Mai contributes to our rautaki Māori, a national strategy defining Kiwibank’s engagement with te ao Māori,’ said Teahooterangi Pihama, Head of Māori Advisory for Kiwibank. ‘We are committed to building strong and meaningful relationships with Māori by normalising te reo Māori me ōna Tikanga and excited to host this collaborative exhibition with Creative Kāpiti and Māoriland.’
At the opening, renowned Toi Iho™ artist Karl Leonard (Ngāti Raukura, Ngāti Awa, Te Arawa) spoke of the many years of skill development that informed his exhibited works. One of his works, Te Pūmotomoto – Kete Tāniko incorporated the government’s yellow and black Covid branding pattern. Artists Tracey Morgan, Kohai Grace & Pip Devonshire also offered insight into their creative practice as weavers, in a separate artists floor talk.
This exhibition delivered on the founding philosophy of Creative Manaaki, mā te mahi tahi, ka ora ai te iwi. By working together we move forward. It attracted buyer enquiry from as far away as Auckland and was a popular exhibition in terms of the number of visitors.