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Matariki Māori arts project hits the main street

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The Matariki celebrations continue this month, with a series of activities focused on the Māori Arts kicking off in Hastings today with the Main Street Heretaunga Toi Art Week.

Presented by Iwi Toi Kahungunu and supported by Hastings District Council, the event will see the shop windows of participating main street businesses coming alive with vibrant artworks created by Kahungunu school children.

A cultural celebration through art, the participating students were asked to create artworks based on the theme “Cultural Legends of Our Ancestors” – reflecting the stories and narratives of their culture whether it be from Aotearoa New Zealand or other countries across the world.

Some of the artworks are also on display at the Hastings library and in the reception area of the Hastings District Council.

Iwi Toi’s Dr Sandy Adsett said he had run a similar event previously in Gisborne that was very well received both by the schools as well as the local businesses and the general public.

“The idea of the exhibition is to enable local contexts and notions of ‘place’ to be celebrated through the visual arts, in collaboration and partnership with our district’s schools.”

“It’s about nurturing place-based learning, culture, identity, connectedness and wellbeing through the arts.”

Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Ngati Kahungungu Ki Heretaunga Year 11 student Shane Kemp’s art is being displayed in the window of Amy P – an image of a taniwha he created on an ipad, which he said was inspired by whakairo (carving).

Peterhead Primary School student Aniray Price, 6, painted a colourful depiction of the legend of Rangi and Papa, featuring children who wanted to be guardians of the planet, and which appears in the window of Awa Ink.

In total there will be more than 20 shops and businesses displaying the artworks, of which about 250 have been produced in total.

There will also be other associated events over the coming few weeks such as an exhibition of works by David Fine Scholarship recipient Evangeline Archer, a Toimairangi student, supported by works of her fellow students, running from July 8 to July 20 at Arts Inc. Heretaunga.

Photo: Peterhead Primary School student Aniray Price, 6, pictured with her Mum Aniray Price (they have the same name), produced a work that is in the window of Awa Ink called Rangi & Papa, and accompanied it by a short description….“The children wanted to go and travel everywhere and they wanted to be guardians of the planet so everyone could be happy.”

8 July 2019

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