The Ballad of Tūhaitara
July 3 - 25, 2015
Lacy in black, Lonnie Hutchinson’s new building paper work is cut in smaller panel blocks to be not quite as symmetrical as before. They billow still like skirts, but their shape could also refer to the tongue – akin to oral history as a visual word of mouth.
The show’s title conjures narrative and whakapapa. This is The ballad of Tūhaitara. A fierce and independent ancestor of Tuhuriri, Tūhaitara was a woman of strength and mana whose marriage, children and tragic end is significant in Ngai Tahu history and its origins on the east coast of the North Island and consequent migration south.
Tūhaitara would have enjoyed support from women in her battles against Marukore her husband; and here they are, Tuahine te aroha I – III, like the three Graces poised and pinned to the wall. Tūhaitara, a woman of many stories, remains a role model today. One gets the feeling that Lonnie Hutchinson is just beginning to relish re-telling her story.
To coincide with the opening of this exhibition, we are delighted to receive copies of a newly published book entitled Lonnie Hutchinson Black Bird. Within its 32 pages are 3 essays, along with repoductions from Black Bird - the survey show from Gus Fisher Gallery in Auckland. This show will travel to the Dowse Art Museum, Lower Hutt, opening late August. The book is available for purchase from Jonathan Smart Gallery, $45 plus pack and post.
Details of works
Tuahine te aroha I, II & III
Kupu te ahi; Awa Whiri; Kanohi ki te tonga