Māwhitiwhiti is an exhibition of contemporary whatu kākahu, or Māori cloaks, by Arapeta Ashton created during Matariki season.
When observing the artform of whatu kākahu, there is a gesture called Māwhitiwhiti, a point of crossing fibres on a garment. Therefore, Māwhitiwhiti is a point of crossing, a moment to think, a moment to stand still and a moment to just be. Much like this technique, the exhibition seeks to explore fibre weaving in the expanded field of installation, mapping the cluster of stars itself through seven cloaks, following the oral histories, and the sound of weaving to create a visceral experience.
Highlighting the significance of Matariki to Pacific peoples, and to Māori in Aotearoa, a series of weaving wānanga were held at Te Tuhi involving participants in the creation of three cloaks which are presented in this exhibition. Alongside, a short documentary shares knowledge of customary Māori cloak weaving through the artist’s kāinga at Whangateau, Aotearoa. Weaving together people, time and space, the cloaks represent whakawhanaungatanga, a coming together of peoples.