Jade Townsend stands in front of her works at Commercial Bay's Whānau Marama exhibit (Photo: Holly Burgess)

Matariki’s tiny treasures

As the curator of Whānau Marama, a collection of nine sculptures for Commercial Bay’s Matariki celebration, artist Jade Townsend reflects on reindiginising, mothering and the mauri and magic of Māori art.

Read the English language version of this story here.

Tūwhera ki a Matariki 

Tūwhera ki a Matariki 

Tāmaua ki te wai whakaika 

Rere mai nuku,rere mai rangi 

Whakapapa pounamu Te Moana nui-a-Kiwa. Tukua te hā ki ngā poutiriao 

Tukua te hā ki te puna waihanga 

Tukua te hā ki te whatumanawa 

Whakatau ai ki te matapuna. 

Kei te ringa tōrangapū, kei te ringa hāpori Hīkina te pāmamao 

Whiria ai te au o te wānanga. 

Nā te Kore te Hinātore, 

Nā te Hinātore te mārama 

Kia puāwai te tuakiri. 

E te kāhui o Matariki 

Hohoutia te Rongo! 

Some of the art in Commercial Bay for Whānau Marama. Left by Lissy (Ngāti Hine, Ngāti Kahu) and Rudi Robinson-Cole (Ngāruahine, Ngāti Tu, Ngāti Paoa, Waikato). Right by Sam Bailey (Ngāti Porou ki Harataunga, Ngāti Huarere) (Photos: Holly Burgess)

I ahau i tuhi ‘reindigenising’ i taku waea pūkoro, i taku rorohiko kia huri ki ‘merchandising’ – he kōrero paki tāmitanga weti pea. Engari, ka menemene mai hoki nā taku aroha nui ki te pukuhohe Ingarihi, waihoki, he tika hoki pea te hātepe: e ai ki āku whakatipuranga he pai ake te āhuatanga hanga kākahu i te whakarauoratanga o te ahureitanga. Kei te hīkoi tonu au i te ao pehi, he huarahi nui mōku ki te whakaahuatanga. 

I ahau i mahi toi ana i te kainga i rukukia i tētahi pouaka tāwhito, kei roto rā ētahi kora riki, ētahi pirepire pīata hei whakaniko ai i te wāhi kia whakatewhatewha i te kotahitanga. 

E haere tōtika ana i taku tamaiti nohinohi ki te rukuhia i te pouaka nā. He kaha tōna ki te whakaputa ōna puna waihanga. Pērā ki te wā i hangaia e ia tētahi poutama pukapuka hei toro atu hei whiti mai te rama. Waihoki, nāna i hanga tētahi waiheke i roto i te nohomanga i te ngonogo wai. Nāna anō i tene mai tētahi ahi tipua ki ngā kora riki, ki ngā pirepire pīata e hora ana i te whāriki o tō tāua nei whare rīhi. I taku ritenga ka hōhā haere, engari anō he pārekareka āku kitenga i te mea ka whakaahua i te wairua o ngā mea hei taonga. He akonga mōku kia tirohia whānui ki te tūhonotanga o ngā mea ki te ao tūroa nei hei whakaohooho ai. 

Ko Hayes-Ānaru Ladley tōku tama. E toru āna tau. He kaihoahoa ia, he kaihoko ia, he kaiwhakahē ia, he tama ātete ia. 

Ia te ata i oho kōrangaranga āku ringa i te moe toropuku hei whakataumaha ai te manukanuka i te kore au i tino mōhio ko wai au. Katahi ka tuia, ka tīkina, ka kohikohia ngā pirepire atu i te mano tinitini noa. Ka waiho au ētahi, kāhore au i te tino hiahia ki te mukua tōna puna waihanga. He taonga te mahara. 

I ahau i mahi i te tuhinga roa nei ka mahi toi anō a Hayes-Ānaru i tōna pōhewatanga. He pene whītau ki āna ringa e tā ana i te kāpata kīhini. He auahatanga te ao katoa mōku. Ko tōna mahi toi pēra ki te ngakau whitawhita a Ralph Hotere. Waihoki, ki ngā koritanga toi a Emily Karaka. He nui te papa mahi a Hayes-Ānaru e whakapeto ngoi ana ki te whakaatu mai ōna ahureitanga puta noa i te ao. Ka poho kererū ia, ka whakanuia māua i tōna ringatoi, ā, ka horoitahi mātou. 

Ko taku tino hiahia ki te tiakina ōna mahi toi, waihoki, ki te tā kowhaiwhai ki tōna ruma moe, engari, ka kī mai a Adam ko tōku hoa tane, kei Aotearoa nei ki te kaituku rīhi kāore i te pai te mahi tā ki ngā pātū – nāna ahau i tiaki i tōku manawa ahakoa te kore mana motuhake i te whare rīhi. 

I noho rāwakiwaki ahau – he ‘reanga moni tārewa’ – Ka kōkiri mātou ki te nama mo ake tonu atu, me pēhea rā ki te whakaora i te mauri o ngā pātū i te whare nei? Āhea te mahi hōhā nei mutu ai? Kia tika ngā mahi whakahauora i te hinengaro, i te wairua o taku tama nohinohi Māori.

Ka tipu kaha te otaota Puarangi ki taku māra ko tētahi tākoha mai i ngā ringa manaaki a Harry rāua ko Emile. E toru ngā hua kua puawai i te rā kotahi. He tohu waimarie. Ka pā mai te huhuatanga hei whāngai i taku tuakiri, nōku te whiwhi. Nā te mahorahoratanga o te ao tūroa nei ka taea e tātou te kite ngā taonga ki ngā wāhi katoa. Ko tātou ko te taiao, ko te taiao ko tātou. 

I te tōnga o te rā ka hoki te whakaaro ki te kupu ‘reindigenising’ i te mea ka huri anō taku whakaaro. Ākene pea i mōhio pai ana te hātepe ipurangi hei whakautu pai te kupu merchandising, he tūhononga ko ngā kupu e rua, nā te horopaki te whakawhitinga pea. 

He aha oū whakaaturanga i a koe e tū rangatira ai? He aha ōu kōkiritanga? He aha ngā mea e huna ana, e whakatika ana kei mua i tō aroaro? He aha ōu tākoha ki te ao nei? 

He kokonga whare e kitea, he kokonga ngakau e kore e kitea. Ko te whare he whakaaturanga o te tangata hei whakamaru ai hei whakararu ai rānei. Ko te tūāpapa hei whāriki i ngā tōrangapū, i ngā whakapono, me ngā ahureitanga. Kei ngā whare te anamata e tipu ana kia hokona atu ki tō tātou nei tamariki, otirā ki tā te hunga ora. 

Tirohia whānui koutou ki ngā whakaaturanga o te Whānau Mārama kei Commercial Bay. Pūmahara ai ki ngā hokai nuku ki ngā hokai rangi o ngā taonga Māori e hora nei: e tipu e rea ko ngā taonga tuku iho i heke mai nei hei puwai i te tangata nā te ringa manaaki o to tātou nei tūpuna. Tūwhera ki ngā āria, tāmaua ki ngā mea huna i roto i tēnei whakaaturanga. Purea ai ki ngā kare-a-roto e pupū ake nei i ngā tāraitanga Māori. Whawhao tō kete i te mātauranga, ā, toha ki tō ao. 

Nā tātou te whiwhi ki Aotearoa nei ka ora ai ngā ritenga pērā ki te Whetū Mārama nā te take nui o te Mate Korona. E noho taratahi tonu te nuinga o ngā tangata tāwāhi. Heoi ano, kia takatū tātou, kia tīkina te mānuka hei anga whakamua kia whakakotahi ai. Tangata tū, Tangata ora. Tangata noho, tangata mate. Ahakoa kei āku ringatoi ētahi māramatanga, he pukuriri tonu, he whakararuraru hoki na te ao pehi e wawāhi ana i ngā mea tika. Me whai kaha ai tātou te tuku pātai. Hei aha te hākerekere, hei aha te ngākau rorotu, kia whakakotahi ai kia kōkiri. Ko te Whānau Mārama he tākoha mā tātou, kia pīataata mai kia tāngia ngā kowhaiwhai i te taone mā rātou e kore e taea te kitea, waihoki, ki ngā tamariki mokopuna e ārahi ana ki te anamata taketake.

Translated by Alejandra Jensen-Whakataka.




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