About the artists showing at maltabiennale.art 2024

Bridget Reweti
Bridget Reweti (Ngāti Ranginui, Ngāi Te Rangi) is a Māori lens-based artist whose works explore different perspectives and understandings of landscape. Her practice unpacks the intimate relationship between people and place, revealing histories known intimately by Māori in Aotearoa New Zealand while challenging the way that landscape is employed in western art-making traditions.

Jamie Berry 
Jamie Berry (Te Aitanga-a-Mahaki, Rongowhakaata, Ngāti Porou, Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Ruanui) is a multidisciplinary artist who creates work that examines Aotearoa histories while reflecting on her identity and place within the current timeline. Originally from Tūranganui-a-kiwa and residing in Pōneke. Jamie’s practice is based on her whakapapa, past, present and future focused. Reimagining these stories through digital content, DNA soundscape, moving images and installation.

Kaaterina Kerekere
(Te Aitanga a Hauiti, Ngāi Tamanuhiri, Ngāti Kahungunu, Ngāi Tahu)
As a multi-disciplinary artist and designer, Kaaterina’s practice moves between painting, adornment and digital media. Raised in Te Tairawhiti, the Gisborne Region of New Zealand, she lives and works from her ancestral lands in the beautiful tribal territory of Te Aitanga a Hauiti, East Coast of the North Island of New Zealand. 

Her work reflects an intimate relationship and connection with self and environment, exploring messages of creative coding and communication symbolism of tribal knowledge, navigation of genealogies, heritage and the transmission of learning through ancestral houses of learning. Combining repetitive layers of line work, patterns, and imagery, fusing traditional ancestral art and design foundations with modern symbolism, Kaaterina’s work looks to echo narratives and concepts of learning styles, conditioning the mind to learn, to retain, to explore, to reimagine.

A key feature within Kaaterina’s work is spaces and place of connectivity, encounters and impacts and responses of engagement – “in developing this work, the terms key frames, anchor points, parenting techniques to name a few, are all connected, illuminating the relationship that layers have with each other to create movement and direction. Everything is connected, as like the environment that surround us. Our movements, our actions, the sounds we make, create vibrations, waves and currents.  Big or small, they have an impact”.

Kahurangiariki Smith
He uri tēnei nō ngā tūpuna i heke mai ai i runga i ngā waka o Te Arawa, o Tainui, o Mataatua, o Takitimu, o Horouta hoki.

Kahurangiariki Smith is a Māori artist living in Aotearoa New Zealand. In recent years Kahurangiariki has been collaborating with her māmā, Dr Aroha Yates-Smith, a leading academic on the ancient Māori feminine. Kahurangiariki’s work explores her mother’s research and the many personifications of atua wāhine (Māori goddesses). She hopes to manifest these atua wāhine into a physical form, locating them in the present and in our futures. Sometimes playful, sometimes cheeky, Kahurangiariki’s work explores a range of media such as moving image, karaoke, 3D rendering, video games, neon and writing. Her most recent exhibitions include Sharjah Biennial 15: Thinking Historically in the Present;  ourtne o te taniwha at The Physics Room in Ōtautahi, Aotearoa New Zealand; and Singing in Unison Part 8: Between Waves, curated by Alice, Nien-pu Ko, exhibited in Industry City, New York.

Keri-Mei Zagrobelna
(Te Āti Awa, Te Whānau-ā-Apanui)
Keri-Mei graduated from Whitireia with a BaPPa in visual arts in 2012. Since her studies she has exhibited in Aotearoa, Australia, Europe and America. As well as working as a full time artist Keri-Mei is a jewellery tutor and art mentor. She is a multi-disciplinary artist but her chosen medium is adornment and jewellery based, as well as her art practice she holds a history of public talks, public art works, lectures and teaching.

Keri-Mei is also a contributor and writer for Garland Magazine supported by The Australian Arts council. Keri-Mei was also part of the New Zealand delegation that attended the 12th Festival of Pacific Arts, Guam in May, 2016. She was in the Handshake mentor/mentee program from 2016 – 2018. In 2018 she was mentored by Lisa Reihana as a part of this Handshake project. 2020-2021 she was mentored by Rangi Kipa in the Toi Maori Whakakai program designed to help support wahine working in the field of adornment.

Keri-Mei has worked on and designed several large scale public art projects. In 2021, her biggest public art Installation to date with the Courtenay Place Lightboxes in Wellington as a part of the city’s Matariki celebrations. This led to being commissioned for her first large scale billboard in 2022 on Custom House Quay, Wellington CBD. Moved to mural work in early 2023 with Wellington Cities currently largest mural on the St James Theatre  Courtney place. Again in 2023, Keri-Mei Released Te Pito her first directed and produced digital moving image work which has screened at Govett Brewster/Len Lye Art Centre, Nelson Arts Festival where it was digitally mapped across public buildings and the CIRCUIT Legacies/Routes Arts Festival, Bangkok. In 2024 her first public sculpture will be released in Porirua City.

Her biggest goal in life is to start a scholarship program for young Māori wanting to work or explore the field of contemporary jewellery and adornment and name this “Moanaraoa” after her late grandmother and mother.

Layne Waerea 
(Ngāti Wāhiao, Ngāti Kahungunu, Pākehā)
Public spaces invite and encourage performance. A performance of rules, both social and legal, that facilitate a shared and mutual use. With my art practice, I am informed by my legal knowledge as a lawyer and lecturer, which helps me understand what restrictions are in place when I move about in public. I like to challenge any ambiguities, as well as take advantage of the public spaces to advance a personal narrative or socio-legal issue I am interested in sharing, and to consider what other types of socio-legal subjectivities are possible in these same spaces. My PhD (2016) focused on this feature, and in particular how and what we can do as a nation to safely and sustainably manage our natural resources – water, air, fog – for future generations to enjoy.

Rangituhia Hollis 
Rangituhia Hollis is an artist, writer and teacher.

Reuben Paterson
Reuben Paterson (Ngāti Rangitihi, Ngāi Tūhoe, Tūhourangi, Scottish) is renowned for glitter and diamond dust paintings. Paterson combines formal approaches to painting abstract and geometric lines and ornate detailing of patterns to stimulate curiosity and joy. Paterson’s use of Māori-inspired motifs links to recent and ancient memories that are visceral and ethereal. A third-generation contemporary Māori artist, he redefines and explores the complexities of social and familial relationships.

Russ Flatt
Russ Flatt (Ngāti Kahungunu) makes staged photographs to create an environment to express and communicate an awareness of contemporary issues. Flatt’s careful and specific choice to work with models is a way to address identity and contemplate Aotearoa’s political realities, social constructs, and ethnic diversity. The artist’s approach is situated in Victorian photography that uses striking scenic backdrops, looks at historical themes, portraiture, and early New Zealand photography montages. Flatt lives and works in Auckland.

Shannon Te Ao 
Shannon Te Ao (Ngati Tūwharetoa, b.1978 Sydney) is an artist currently based in Wellington, New Zealand. Working predominantly within performative and video-based practices, Te Ao’s recent work has seen him draw from a range of existing literary material, including Māori lyrical sources found in whakataukī (Māori proverb) and waiata (Māori song). He uses these as exploratory devices for various social and political contexts.

The conflation of the physical, social and poetic are recurrent within of a growing body of moving image-based installations and live performance propositions. Within these, language – in the form of short poetic text, prose or song – activates, offsets and contextualises any given site or activity. Recitals or readings are employed to locate imagery within an expansive, sometimes anachronistic and often tenuous domestic setting. Within recent moving image works Te Ao enacts a fragile social agency, blurring the lines between embodiments of the melancholic and optimistic, empowered and despondent, and wild and free.

Suzanne Tamaki
Suzanne Tamaki (Maniapoto, Tuhoe) is an artist and social provocateur who uses fashion and photography to create visual narratives that respond to cultural-politics in Aotearoa New Zealand.  Her works often investigate the nature of indigenous feminisms in the South Pacific, challenging the colonial gaze and Western ideas of nationhood within a bi-cultural nation.

As an individual artist and as a member of Pacific Sisters and the SaVAge K’lub art collectives, Tamaki has exhibited works extensively throughout Aotearoa New Zealand and internationally, with exhibitions at  The National Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa (2018), Sharman Gallery Winnipeg (2017), The Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art (APT8, Brisbane, Australia, 2016), Expressions Arts Centre (Upper Hutt, 2015), City Gallery Wellington (2011), the British Museum (England, 2008), the University of Cambridge Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology (England, 2005) and the Dowse Art Museum (2004).

About the curator

Karl Chitham
Karl Chitham (Ngā Puhi, Te Uriroroi) has been a champion for the arts in New Zealand for 20 years with a specific interest in toi Māori. Chitham trained as an artist and educator, and has held curatorial roles in universities, museums and public galleries. He was curator at Rotorua Museum and Director and Curator at Tauranga Art Gallery before becoming Director of the Dowse Art Museum, Head of Arts and Culture for Hutt City in 2019. He has been pivotal in building community support for the Dowse and its notable contribution to the New Zealand arts sector.

Using his own curatorial practice, and through programming at various institutions he has worked with communities of artists, curators and arts professionals to increase the profile of toi Māori and Māori artists. He was instrumental in the opening and curating for the Wairau Māori Art Gallery in the Hundertwasser Art Centre in Whangārei, the first dedicated public Māori art gallery nationally. He has written for multiple arts publications including co-authoring the ground-breaking publication Crafting Aotearoa: A Cultural History of New Zealand and the Wider Moana Oceania. Chitham is a member of Te Roopu Mana Toi, an advocacy advisory for Creative New Zealand and serves on charitable art trusts and in advisory positions for various institutions and arts organisations since 2009.