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New exhibition opens at Te Whare Toi

Hemi Macgregor Wainui atea 2022 Photo Cheska Brown

Connections between people, place and imagination are examined in a new exhibition by Wellington-based Ngāti Kahungunu artist Hemi Macgregor at Te Whare Toi o Heretaunga – Hastings City Art Gallery, and locals will have the chance to hear from the artist himself later on this month.

Macgregor, who has exhibited widely across Aotearoa, including in landmark Auckland Art Gallery exhibition, Toi Tū, Toi Ora, explores the stories of environment within Te Ao Māori and the ways our lives are set within the natural world.

The works within his Hastings exhibition, which opens on December 17 and is called Waiora, explore the textures and patterns of his mother’s raranga (weaving) practice through paintings and relief sculptures, balancing positive and negative space, tonal shifts, and layered movement.

These elements in Macgregor’s work call to foundational pūrākau (narratives) and expansive natural events as they are held within Mātauranga Māori (traditional Māori knowledge). Waiora acknowledges atua (gods), whenua (land), and our personal journey within these interconnected foundations for daily life. The stories told through this exhibition speak to the significance of the dynamic relationship between people, place, and imagination.

Each work reflects a dynamic environment and a space which is both precise and poetic, or tangible and intangible. Painted gestures move like light on water and are then woven into layered, structural pattern.

Waiora includes Macgregor’s large-scale installation Te pōtangotango and others which draw connection to events like the night sky, the shifting tide, the coming of spring and the surrounding shifts which might even connect us to our sense of place in the world.

Join us at the Gallery to celebrate the opening of Waiora, from 5.30pm on Friday, December 16. To hear more about these works and Hemi Macgregor’s artistic practice, join us at Te Whare Toi o Heretaunga for a floor talk at 1.30pm on Saturday, December 17. Both events are free with no booking required.

5 December 2022

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