March was a time of change for most cultures around the World. Autumn solstice here in the southern hemisphere, Now Ruz or Naw Ruz, the new year in the Middle East. A time marking Passover, Easter and Ramadan, the beginning or the end of fasting, a time of reflection and gift giving – a time of change.
For us we are enjoying the end of raumati 2023 – what seems to be the shortest summer we have ever experienced. Instead of long February days at the beach catching fish, eating summer fruits and salads, this year we have had tropical cyclones, flooding and devastation, failed vegetable crops and lean harvests. Global inflation is biting and the climate crisis can no longer be denied.
Through all the doom and gloom we can see the glimmer of the light of cultural regeneration here at Hihiaua. People come together – to create, to recreate and to renew – friendships, whanaungatanga and hapori (community.) Some are regulars, locals an their friends and whanau from over the ditch. Others find their way by themselves – from far off lands from Finland to South America.
After the storm we had a visit from four Taiwanese artists and whanau touring the north with their hosts from the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery/Len Lye Centre, Ngamotu New Plymouth. Ringatohu/Director Zara Stanhope says the artists very much appreciated the warm welcome, manaaki and hospitality.
“The visit to the cultural centre was a highlight for the whole group.
You were all very generous in your time with the artists, and in sharing material, methods and knowledge.”
April is school holidays and people are still travelling to enjoy the north – our weather, our scenery and our culture. Let’s keep enjoying all we have, together, in peace, as we head towards winter and the future.
March also saw the the return of international artists to the biannual CollabiratioNZ event. Where artists mix and mingle at the foot of our tupuna maunga Manaia, to co-create fantastic works of art. This year Hihiaua Cultural Centre hosted the live auction and with a packed whare, every thing sold both live and online with all proceeds going towards the next Collabz event in 2025.
We still have the remnants of our Raumati Exhibition, featuring the works of Theresa Reihana and other Tai Tokerau artists as well as a mini install of the amazing portraits from our Me Anga Whakamua – Facing the Future, Exhibition.