Natural art show
Whitireia weaving student Moana Hilliard was thinking very much of her family when she created three major pieces for Whakaoho Wairua – Awakening of the Spirit, the polytech’s latest exhibition at Pataka Museum and Gallery.
Tutors and graduates of Whitireia Polytechnic’s certificate in master craft weaving and carving programmes contributed to the display, as did invited artists.
Hilliard created nine of the traditional Maori-woven wall panels but her three most treasured are called Dad, Mum and Family.
‘‘I wanted to do something that was for my family. They weren’t going to be sold, they were to keep in the family, so it needed to be important to the family,’’ she said.
For the Dad artwork she employed a triangular pattern called nihotaniwha, which represents story-telling in Maori culture. Hilliard’s father was an author and so she felt it fitting to use the pattern as her theme.
Diagonal lines mirror the way a mother holds a child in Hilliard’s second piece Mum, and hundreds of stars represent whanau in Family.
‘‘Traditionally, weaving is a collaborative project done by two or more people but smaller pieces can be completed on your own, just like I did,’’ she said.
The show features works by artists with an interest in using natural materials, ancient techniques and design. Tukutuku (lattice-work), kowhaiwhai (painting) and whakairo (carving) are brought into the gallery, while the customary flax fibre cloak is explored as a garment for today’s fashion.
The exhibition runs until February 27 in Pataka’s Bottle Creek Gallery.
The awakening: Whitireia staff member and weaving student Moana Hilliard contributed nine works to the Whakaoho Wairua – Awakening of the Spirit exhibition.