wā o mua curated by Māia Abraham and Grace Ryder
wā o mua, an exhibition of five emerging practitioners currently based in Te Waipounamu, the south island of Aotearoa, acts as a karanga to Sisters Communing, presented at the Hocken Collections, Uare Taoka o Hākena. Using the concept of the exhibition’s title, wā o mua, we invite a celebration and reflection on women’s achievements and perspectives across generations and cultures, acknowledging the past to navigate the future. Using the items held at Uare Taoka o Hākena, each artist has presented a dialogue, bringing the people and histories contained within the archive to the fore, continuing and at times questioning the multiple narratives between the historical and the present.
We would like to acknowledge Robyn Notman and Andrea Bell from Hocken Collections, Uare Taoka o Hākena for supporting and encouraging this project.
Ōtepoti-based graphic designer Erin Broughton holds a Bachelor of Design (Communication) from Otago Polytechnic, School of Design (2017) and a Bachelor of Arts from University of Otago (2015). Working primarily in print media, Erin’s work centres music and arts communities. She is currently a finalist for the New Zealand Design Institute’s Best Awards for Bones, a year-long publication project showcasing local writers and artists that she edited and designed for Radio One 91fm Dunedin, where she currently works as the Music Director.
Christchurch based artist Caitlin Clarke has an installation based practice, with an interest in pottery, film, fabrics and people. Caitlin’s art centres around the nature/culture complex as a societal institution, a paradigm that is formed in most western minds that separates the way we think about the ‘self,’ ‘culture’ and ‘nature’ as all separate entities. Caitlin’s work is to re-imagine how connections to the earth, and ourselves, can be re-established, felt, thought about and nurtured. In 2018 Caitlin undertook the Tui Residency at Corbans Art Estate. Caitlin graduated from University of Canterbury with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in 2017.
Christchurch born and bred, Nina Oberg Humphries (b.1990), is of Cook Islands and Pākehā descent. Nina studied towards a Bachelor of Fine Arts majoring in Sculpture at Ilam School of Arts in Christchurch between 2013 - 2015. Nina’s work explores her dual Pacific and Western heritage. Through the use of traditional Polynesian art forms such as Tivaevae, costume and dance, combined with elements of popular culture, she seeks to convey issues of gender, identity and social politics.
Metiria Turei (Ati Hau nui a Paparangi, Kahungunu ki Wairarapa, Rangitane) is a textile artist studying at the Dunedin School of Art. After two decades in law and politics her current art practice concerns the use of taniko as a metaphor for Maori agency in the present and the future.
Originally from Palmerston North, Nadai Wilson is a current student at Dunedin School of Art (Photography and Digital Art). Her practice involves collecting stories of her peers and family through objects precious to them and experiments with traditional archival techniques of product photography.