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Te Puna o Te Mātauranga Marae is a show piece for our organisation, of modern contemporary Māori art in a Whare Hui context.
The decision was made not to reflect representation of ancestors but instead reflect the programmes delivered by NorthTec. As the major Tertiary provider in Tai Tokerau it would be considered a 'house of learning', a 'Whare Wananga'.
The concepts encompass the narratives of 'nga kete o te mātauranga' and the journey through the twelve heavens for attainment of knowledge and enlightenment. The creative team sort to capture without the figurative form was the desire to learn, share and grow ourselves towards opportunities to support the dreams and livelihood of our whānau.
The patterns and designs in the whakairo rakau, raranga, tukutuku and kowhaiwhai have been utilised to support the design concept for the whare.
Over time with every new whare, one can observe that the 'whare' as a cultural paradigm keeps evolving and growing. The 'whare construct' provides a framework that reflects the people and their world view. Te Puna o Te Mātauranga is a part of that journey of continuum.
We acknowledge the whare keep evolving, are redefined and readapted to reflect the people and the environment. The departure from tupuna whare brings us closer to who we truly are. The whare will always honour whakapapa, whakawhanaungatanga, mātauranga and the importance of te reo me ona tikianga.
Mahi rāranga retains pattern and design through making process and the repetition of methodologies embedded in mahi rāranga, whatu and whiri. New materials introduce new qualities and impact positively on the representation of mahi tukutuku. The new material of plastic tubing produces a transparent effect within the structure exposing the kakaho/toetoe, which is not usually seen.
Concepts have generally been sourced from pattern and design found in whakairo rākau, raranga, whatu, tukutuku and kōwhaiwhai. These are spread through the whare from the marae ātea to the poutūārongo. Watching the blend of the customary art forms with the contemporary has been uplifting, empowering and a challenge.
We start from nothing but a blank canvas. We source the inspiration and we begin to create. The observer has rite of passage to interpret what they observe, from the pāpaka to the tāhuhu.