This month it’s officially Spring – the season of new growth.
So it’s fitting that Zimmerman Art Gallery’s exhibition features a series of saplings – a symbol of life and growth that, in the hands of Palmerston North artist Tanu Aumua, speaks to the revitalisation of te reo Māori.
Ngā Māhuri o te Waoku – Artist Statement
Matapoporetia te rau huia kai mua tonu i te aroaro. Tēnā ko te ōkākā me te ō manapou ērā ko tukuna iho e ō tātou kōhika mā. Nāia he whaitua o te waoku raima kia matapaki, kia wānanga ngā tameme mō tō tātou reo taketake. Mā ngā kākā tarahae o Te Aho Matua te ō e kawe ki te pae mamao.
While recent reports indicate an increased interest in te reo Māori language courses across the country, very few choose Te Aho Matua (Māori language medium schools) as an educational pathway for their children. Speaking te reo Māori is a lifestyle, and Te Aho Matua is a specific choice to maintain language excellence within a family.
If language excellence is to survive and adapt, how do we create a safe environment for it to flourish within its current climate? How do we make it vogue for the current “Generation Reo Slayers”?
The objective of the work in this exhibition is to provide a platform for engaging discussion on the merits of language revitalisation in the 21st century, and the importance of Te Aho Matua as a framework for elevating te reo Māori.
The gold leaf symbols denote the various historical events that have had major implications on the well-being of the language and still exist in our society today. The Victorian-style frames allude to Western constructs, and the struggle to work within the system to create positive change. The rendering of realistic scenery between layers of resin offers an insight for viewers into a Māori paradigm, where metaphoric references are inspired by nature.
First exhibited earlier this year at Upper Hutt’s public art gallery, Expressions Whirinaki, this exhibition is proudly supported by Creative New Zealand. The six works in the exhibition are all acrylic paint, resin and 24 carat gold leaf, in custom made frames measuring 362 mm high x 285 mm wide.
Brief Artist Bio
Tanu Aumua holds a Master of Māori Visual Arts from Massey University. In 2003, Tanu was offered opportunity to refine his craft and passion for teaching at Hato Pāora College in Fielding. After the birth of his first child, Tanu took up a teaching position closer to home at Manukura in Palmerston North, where he remains teaching today. His three children are all enrolled at Mana Tamariki, a unique community dedicated to te reo Māori.
329 Main Street, Palmerston North
Other Important Info
Category: Contemporary Art
Monday: 11:00am–3:00pmTuesday: 11:00am–3:00pmWednesday: 11:00am–3:00pmThursday: 11:00am–3:00pmFriday: 11:00am–3:00pmSaturday: 11:00am–3:00pmSunday: 11:00am–3:00pm
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