Venue: Tairawhiti Museum, 10 Stout Street, Gisborne, New Zealand
Opening: 5:30pm, Friday 21st January 2011
The local people; the hosts; they who are indigenous to the land. Tangata Whenua, literally means the people of the whenua; whenua being the land or placenta; the place where our ancestors were born, where they lived and where their placentas are buried.
“Growing up as a young Mâori male in rural and in urban New Zealand, the idea of Tangata Whenua started at home. Mâori Culture filled our home in song and dance and in its many diverse art forms and traditions. I see the influence my mother and father had on my elder siblings in many different ways. They were taught how to both live off and respect the land and the sea, and how to care for and replenish their stores. This ensured that the bounty that they provided would be there not only for us right now, but also for the generations to come. They were taught also how to respect one another, and to always respect other people. Indeed, Tangata Whenua for each of us begins in our own back yards, and with some amount of life and living it extends far beyond that.
"Tangata Whenua reveals itself in many forms, reaching far across borders and boundaries. It inspires and embraces the mana of all living things; a reciprocating respect extending right on through to the very land, sea and air that sustains us all. It holds great value in the living and the dead, customs and traditions, religions and beliefs. It puts all other things before itself. It’s a respect for all life, past, present and future; an old-world perspective which in these modern times has never been more relevant. I believe we are all connected to each other and to all things. It’s an idea that I’m passionate about, and one that I thought that I would share.
"It’s my hope that the Tangata Whenua exhibition will allow people to consider what Tangata Whenua means to them.”
Rongo Tangatake Tuhura was born in Gisborne, New Zealand in 1971, to parents Romeo Tuhura and Charlotte Tibble, each sharing a rich and diverse heritage. Being of Ngati Porou decent, Rongo acknowledges also his Spanish, Scottish, Norwegian, French, and Lebanese blood ties.
In 2008 Rongo emerged a recent graduate of the Te Toi o Nga Rangi Bachelor of Maori Visual Arts program run by esteemed local Maori Visual Arts School Toihoukura, Gisborne. Prior learning in multimedia: visual and graphic design held Rongo in good stead to progress swiftly and successfully through the program. However, like many artists, Rongo’s love and appreciation of art began at a very early age.
Inspired by the masters of the Renaissance era, Rongo was later encouraged to delve into his own culture and heritage where among many things he discovered diverse genealogies about the pantheon of the gods, great leaders of men, and inspiring histories concerning the audacious heroes and heroines of Maoridom.
Details: Amazing Portraits of Tangata Whenua.
150 - 300 guest limit, depending on numbers, so contact me if you would like to come:
email: [email protected]
Posted by Rongo Tuhura on May 24, 2010 at 9:47 AM
Facilitating at Te Wananga o Aotearoa here in Gisborne. A two week workshop comprised of: Week One - Drawing Techniques, and Week Two - Painting.
Teaching was a brand new experience for me and a rewarding one in so many ways. I met some of the nicest, most genuine people in my students, and came away feeling nothing but love and pride for each and every one of them.
I went in nervous and unsure, I'm not sure if anyone picked up on that, but I would wake sometimes at 2 or 3am in the morning and write down the ideas and techniques that made up the body of the things I would share with the tauira (my students) later that day. Ideas about some of the learned techniques that I've benefitted from as an ongoing student of art.
I realised early on that, first and foremost, you have to be true to yourself, otherwise you can clear a room pretty quickly, people lose interest.
On the flipside of this, I recall being a student and recognise that as with anything studious---you put in what you get out of something. If you don't put in the effort, or think you already know everything, you might miss out on something potentially important. As a teacher, you kind of have to be prepared to show even the know-alls love...
So be yourself when teaching. Teach only about the things you know about, and you know a lot, because there is no one like you. No one else knows how or why you paint or draw the way you do.
Also, if you are any kind of a teacher, or artist for that matter, encourage your students and each other, hold others up don't walk over them, and give what you can to those who want to learn.
Anyway, that's me for now. It's 2:38am and I'm tired.
I have to say a big thank you to Tania Downes, Raranga (Weaving) and Aria Whaanga, Waituhi (Painting) at Te Wananga o Aotearoa who provided me with the opportunity to interrupt their students for a couple weeks. Thank you so much.
Much thanks to Te Wananga o Aotearoa, thank you for welcoming me in to the whanau, I really enjoyed my time there with you all and tautoko your nurturing and encouragement of some of the most amazing talent in Turanganui-a-Kiwa. Now that's what you call a real Maori Art School!!!!!!!!
To Bay Riddell, cheers for the jam brother!!!!!! Hope to see you at Blues Night at the PBC Club!!!hehe
To the tauira (students), thank you for the laughs, love and awesome times. Keep up the awesome work my peeps!!!:)
And, as always, to my woman, thank you babe for all the love and support you give me.xox
Last but by no means least, to my mum, I love you mama, thank you for inspiring me to be who I am.x
Posted by Rongo Tuhura on January 1, 2010 at 12:00 AM
"Maori Art Market 2009, Te Rauparaha Arena, Porirua: the largest gathering of Maori art and Maori Artists anywhere, ever. At last the moment had arrived. My partner, Michelle, and I showed up at the arena early, works in tow. Twenty paintings, all acrylic on steel comprised the Atua (Maori God) Series I had started to put together 6 months prior to the exhibition. We were greeted and treated with genuine warmth by staff and by Darcy Nicholas, the man in charge of the Market. In short order all my works were hung and lit, and all there was left to do was to wait.
During the days that followed other artists started to arrive to hang their works, meet new artists and great old friends. I was so amazed not only by the calibre of both up and coming and already established artists displaying there, but by the warmth and welcome I received. Response from the public and fellow peers alike to the works I’d brought along to display was positive, overwhelming and inspiring. The place was all a buzz, the opening amazing. The Market was filled with little moments that as I recall reinforced a trillion different things I love about art, and a trillion different reasons why I became an artist.
For instance, on the second day I was seated on a chair in my stall drawing whilst the public began to arrive. A Maori man entered the stall. The man had his very young daughter with him, and a son named Amorangi, also very young. The boy sat on the ground and watched me drawing, his father and sister soon joined him. They sat there for almost an hour just watching. Eventually they got up to leave, and I have to admit that I was quite moved by this boy. He reminded me a lot of myself when I was his age; patient, reflective, attentive.
I asked if they would wait whilst I produced a drawing from my portfolio, signed it and gave the drawing to the boy Amorangi. He was so grateful, as was his father. On the third and last day of the Market I was returning to my stall from a short break and who should be walking in front of me but Amorangi. His father was walking very fast up ahead, as if he were looking for someone, and the boy was trying to keep up. In his hand the boy clutched a piece of paper. It suddenly dawned on me who they were looking for.
I called out the boy’s name and he turned, saw me and offered me the piece of paper. I asked where his father was and he ran off to get him, paper still clutched in his hand. Amorangi and his father emerged from around a corner. Amorangi’s father walked straight up to me, clasping my hand in a firm grip. We exchanged a hongi and then Amorangi handed me the piece of paper. It was a drawing, signed Amorangi. I had no words at the time. I thanked Amorangi and was quite blown away both by the drawing and the gift.
When I told my partner Michelle later she smiled with approval. It’s a collection of cool little things like that particular moment that I’ve taken away with me from the Maori Art Market 2009, a gathering of people who live and breathe and appreciate Maori art and the people that make it. It was an amazing experience I shall not soon forget."
- Rongo Tangatake Tuhura (a.k.a. The Gun) -