NorthTec Maunga Kura Toi holds Graduate Exhibit

December 2, 2022
December 2, 2022

This week NorthTec | Te Pūkenga held the opening of the 2022 Maunga Kura Toi (Māori Arts) Graduation Exhibition, celebrating the mahi of this year’s ākonga.

Carved waka by Haimona Brown

Tatai Henare opened the proceedings with karakia and whaikōrero along with exhibiting artist Haimona Brown. Afterward, the exhibiting artist and their close friends and family were given the chance to speak before the gallery was opened to be enjoyed.

The featured artists have produced works in one of three categories, Raranga (weaving), Whakairo (carving), and Rauangi (visual arts). With nine artists being represented across the three areas there is a multitude of phenomenal works to be seen and enjoyed.

“Students have worked hard throughout their years on the Bachelor of Māori Arts, and it is always great to see whānau and friends at an event to celebrate their hard work,” says Lorraine King, Pathway Manager Creative at NorthTec | Te Pūkenga. “Many ākonga work and it is always a fine balance to study with work and whānau commitments. It’s also a pleasure to be involved in part of their learning journeys through the years and watching them evolve and become practitioners in the arts that they can contribute to their communities.”

The night was a resounding success with a large crowd turning out to support the artists. The ākonga were in great form and had positive things to say about the course and the experience.

“I’ve really enjoyed the course,” says Haimona Brown. “I love that this is such a healthy and welcoming environment that embraces everyone. It’s been a safe place where people can express themselves and get the education they want and deserve without having to travel south. It’s fantastic that it’s here in Te Tai Tokerau.”

Brown has been a practitioner of Tarai Waka for several years and decided it was time to enhance his practice, through study at NorthTec | Te Pūkenga and has produced a fully functional and intricately carved waka as his finishing piece for the exhibition.

Raranga ākonga Josephine Thompson has also greatly enjoyed her time at NorthTec | Te Pūkenga and has produced multiple beautiful woven taonga for the exhibition.

“One of the main reasons I chose NorthTec was because Te Hemo Ata Henare teaches here. Everyone knows she’s like a black-belt weaver,” explains Josephine Thompson. “I was very excited to be taught by her. It’s been a great experience. Everyone has been very supportive through the whole journey.”

The exhibit will be open from the 29th of November to the 9th of December at the Geoff Wilson Gallery, NorthTec, 51 Raumanga Valley Road, Whangārei. The gallery is open Monday to Friday 10am-4pm.

The artist featured are; Josephine Thompson and Olivia George who have studied in Raranga, Crystelle Perrin, Katrina Fleming, and Rawinia Le Noel in the Rauangi area, and Anthony Weijermars, Haimona Brown, Meka Kahui-Mauriri, and William Leonard who have produced works in whakairo.

Everyone is welcome to come to view the stunning taonga produced by our graduate artists and celebrate their mahi. Some works are for sale, and prices to be advised by the artists.

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