Masters of Māori Visual Art 2019
Toioho ki Apiti – Massey University
He Hīnatōre o ngā Toroa- The Light of the Albatross.
This exhibition report focuses on Toroa and its importance in Māori culture with particular reference to Iwi Taranaki and Ngati Porou. The research, methodology, recent significant related works, and practice, that has culminated in this exhibition is discussed. Through this research there have been relevant links made between the use of the feather and teardrop form in Māori culture. Pounamu and Totara are found to be mediums that have mauri (life force), and in turn are often associated with sacred rituals. The traditional and contemporary practices that are grounded in the connecting stories/kōrero and forms are used as a basis of research and practice. The relationships between the Titahi Toroa/ Albatross feather of Iwi Taranaki, the Roimata Toroa/ Albatross Teardrop tukutuku of Ngati Porou and the Tangiwai/ Pounamu teardrop of Piopiotahi/ Milford Sounds are explored.
The Toroa is the subject of many stories and artworks. This sacred bird is often portrayed as a guiding light for Māori and humanity as a whole both historically and today. The importance of kaitiakitanga/guardianship of whenua/ land, tangata/people, tikanga/ cultural practices in the kōrero/stories of Toroa- before colonisation, whilst colonisation has occurred and the after effects of colonisation as we see it today are notions discussed. This enquiry has contextualised the use of Pounamu, Tōtara, Roimata and Titahi that make up the exhibition ‘He Hīnatōre o ngā Toroa- The light of the Albatross’. There has been careful consideration in applying some of the knowledge acquired due to the tapu nature of these mediums and topics, and the relevance to the exhibition taking place 250 years after Captain James Cook arrived in Aotearoa.
Hei konā mai,
Ed, Dip Tching, Post Grad.
Dip. Māori Visual Arts (Distinction)