Opening Wednesday April 12, 2017 at 5:30pm
ST PAUL St Gallery Two, Auckland
E takarae ki te muri i raro mata raranga mai kaewa ki te rangi ko au ki raro whakaaro rangi ai
I stumble on ahead my face turns skyward although I am below my thoughts are floating through the sky
Ngahuia Harrison’s exhibition began as an exploration of the Treaty settlement process from a specific locale: Ngāti Rehua, a hapū of Ngātiwai iwi, of which she is a part. The project responds to two urgencies within this process, and specifically, to the belittling of kaumātua and kuia within it. The first urgency is imposed by the Government’s need to ‘finish everything off’, resolving settlements within a time limit. While Harrison’s whānau, hapū and iwi work under the pressure of legal deadlines, generations become further detached from tūrangawaewae, reo kāinga and tikanga kāinga.
A second urgency is the iwi’s own, in relation to kaitiakitanga of mātauranga. With the loss of many kaumātua and kuia who, with their knowledge of Ngātiwai history and relationships, are the kaiārahi (guides, mentors) for whānau, the stresses of numerous Waitangi Urgency Hearings take on additional weight. The project is an articulation of the urgent need to slow down.
The patere that is the exhibition’s title was recited by Harrison’s tupuna Hone Paama at the Māori Land Court hearings determining the tenure of Hauturu (Little Barrier Island). Taking its lead, rather than straightforward documentation of the settlement process, the project draws on the whakapapa of the rohe, Te Tai Tokerau and Aotea, and of Harrison’s whānau, hapū and iwi, toward an installation in which multiple ideas of time are at play. The exhibition includes large-scale photographic works, an audio recording, and Pūriri benches for sitting and listening.
Image: Ngahuia Harrison, Kahu who is named after his Great-Grandmother, 2017.
This exhibition opens alongside Beatriz Santiago Muñoz: Their movements retain the light of the sun in ST PAUL St Gallery One.
St Paul Street Gallery
Date(s) - 13/04/2017 - 26/05/2017