Wahine Patere, Wahine Panekeneke
August 24 - September 14, 2013
The six, large format photographs shown in this exhibition by Fiona Pardington, are the same works presented for her final doctoral submission at the University of Auckland in 2013. In her thesis "Towards a Kaupapa of Ancestral Power and Talk", Pardington describes the subjects of the works as a group of Kai Tahu women who are her "huaka, whanauka or friends from Te Wai Paunamu. These Kai Tahu women are exenplary; their whanau are the backbone of burgeoning Kai Tahu culture. As wahine Kai Tahu, they are light-skinned and blend into Pakeha society seamlessly, speaking both Maori and English. and are active in their hapu, their ropu, their iwi as educators and artists."
Pardington goes on to say that " The Moari women in the photographs appear as themselves, representing the unbroken thread of women of whom they are the most recent life expression. These women are reinvesting culture through the support of their ancestors, informed by their Kai Tahutaka, self-determination and contemporary creative strength. They were photographed from above while they lay on the black and gold sands of Te Wai Pounamu's beaches, hair entwined with the seaweeds that have an important social significance to Kai Tahu because of its connection to mahika kai. The effect gained from this change of perspective is subtle, but very effective. Seaweed, or rimu, are the flowers and trees of Takoroa/God of the Ocean. Hair strands connect the person to their spiritual. unseen aspects of being. Seaweed can be imagined as an earthly metaphor for aka, or the spiritual/silver cords that link each person to their higher spiritual body and even higher spiritual being."
Details of works
Katerina Rimu Rapa / Seaweed, Entangled
Katerina Rimu Ihumoana / Seaweed, Man O War
Katerina Ngahue / God of Greenstone
Moko Iwituararo Ihumoana / Tattoo, Backbone, Man O War
Akura Ihumoana / Man O War
Akura Pupu Waireti / Violet Snail
All works are archival pigment inks on Hahnemuhle Photo Rag 308gsm,