A celebration of
Awealth of Maori art is on display at Te Wananga O Aotearoa this week, as students show the culmination of their year’s work.
In previous years the wananga’s arts students have showed their wares at Pataka, but this year the polytechnic is making use of its ample display space on campus.
Hundreds of works make up the exhibition, many of them for sale.
Harakeke weaving, painting, sculptures of clay, stone, gourd and wood, quilts, kites and paper art all make for a substantial show.
Titahi Bay student Evelina Simi has three artworks on display: a painting, a stone sculpture, and a burnt wood triptych.
All feature turtles, which represent her brother, who died last year.
‘‘Each creature or line has a meaning for me,’’ she said.
Mrs Simi has worked plenty of Pacific themes into her art, including flowers and plaited ropes to represent her parents.
‘‘I like keeping my culture in my pieces,’’ she said.
‘‘ It encourages you to look deeper in your whakapapa; who you are and how your ancestors came to be in Aotearoa. It’s a way of expressing your taonga, your treasure.’’
Students and their families take a lot of pride in seeing their work exhibited, said Mrs Simi, who also works as the wananga’s events co-ordinator.
The level of skill on show was evident in small features like the handles of a kete or the waistband of a piupiu ( hapa kaka
Family focus: Art student Evelina Simi has symbolised her family in her artworks, on display at Te Wananga O Aotearoa’s end-of-year exhibition this week.