He W’akaputanga Mai o te Rangatiratanga
E nga rangatira o Ngapuhi. Whakarongo mai. Kaua e uhia te Tiriti O Waitangi ki te kara o Ingarangi. Engari me uhi ano ki tou kara Maori, te kahu o tenei motu. A. Taonui
Compelling artworks by twelve Hokianga artists have been created in response to Te W’akaputanga Mai O Te Rangatiratanga, signed by Ngapuhi chiefs in 1835 and its context in Aotearoa today.“The show is resplendent in ingenuity and innovative vision, with a distinctive focus on materialities, ethics and cultural practices”, says curator Heiwari Johnson. “Te W’akaputanga Mai O Te Rangatiratanga is a consummate proclamation of sovereignty where collective voices are unified enunciating some high-tensile moments in our country’s recent history”.
Toi Te Rito Maihi’s profound, elegant korowai titled A Tissue Of Lies comprise individual neckline tags with a photocopy of treaty signatures of Patuone and Tamati Waka Nene. The tags are constructed from paper still made in the Town Factory in Yorkshire, for heirs was the paper used by Busby in his initial drafts of the Treaty of Waitangi.
Artist Michelle Morunga excels in transforming 3D art pieces into a two dimensional painting. Her work titled Rau Rangtira forms an assemblage of 179 individually painted, stitched and resined pohutukawa leaves signifying 179 years since the proclamation by the Confederated Tribes of New Zealand asserting their collective sovereignty.
Maureen Lander’s Kara Kahu highlight the symbolic parallels for Maori between cloaks and flags. In 1830 a cloak was flown from the mast of the ship Sir George Murray for trading purposes. The cloak-flag was not recognised by authorities and the ship was seized. However, in 1834 Te Whakaminenga confederation chose Te Kara to represent their collective sovereignty, which was approved by the British government and King granting world recognition of Maori as a trading nation.
Photographer Heather Randerson presents images of whenua overwritten by early maps of the Hokianga as a reflection of the collision of differing cultural perspectives towards land, foreshore and seabed and the impact of this on the rangatiratanga of tangata whenua.
– black_space Gallery, Kohukohu