Ti Hei Mauri Ora is a high energy exhibition. It is a release of some of the mauri (life force) surging among contemporary Maori artists as they seek to express the new identity currently being forged by their people. This energy is resulting in an exciting range of new art forms which merge traditional and contemporary elements in response to the reality for many of contemporary urban life.
Emerging artists Emily Karaka, Kura Rewiri-Thorsen and Norman Te Whata all express their excitement at the current regeneration of maoritanga in their work. It is a celebration of this change and of new things happening. ‘Art is life’ is their catchword and is communicated by them in vital form in this exhibition.
All artists have exhibited previously, Emily and Norman having staged a joint exhibition at the Auckland City Art Gallery in 1984. Emily has also received several art awards, including a QEII award and travel grant, and a 1985 Maori Artist Award. Norman is currently artist in residence at Tamaki College, where Kura has also taught until recently.
Also on display will be wall panels and banners by 3rd and 4th form Maori and Polynesian students of Tamaki College. These panels, painted collectively by the students, are a powerful release of their energy. Their natural artistic ability is revealed in their vivid and innovative exploration of form and colour.
→ Ti Hei Mauri Ora, 1985, exhibition card
→ Ti Hei Mauri Ora, 1985, exhibition poster