It seems like 2023 began without a summer followed by floods,
cyclones, road closures, power outages, a very wet winter, a never
ending election campaign, fears for whanau around the globe and
questions about what might be next. All of a sudden the year is coming
to an end with another horizon coming into view.
On the positive side – another summer is on its way -there are glimpses
of it in te taiao. Days grow longer, baby birds learn to fly from their
nests, fish come into the harbours. As Papatuanuku warms it is time to
plant, Raumati is coming into view.
Soon it will be the time for whanau to gather together for time out from
the busyness and fuss we call modern life, to take a breath. To
celebrate this time of light and new life, warmth and beauty the Hihiaua
Cultural Centre is launching an exciting, new exhibition.
Te Raumati – Summer Group Show features 40 kaitoi, mainly from Tai
Tokerau, including Star and Ra Gossage, Te Kahuwhero Alexander-
Tu’inukuafe, Charlotte Graham Hikurangi Edwaards, Michelle Morunga
and photographers Graeme Main and Alan Squires. There are clay and
porcelain works by Amorangi Hikuroa and Colin Underdown and a
beautiful selection of one off jewellery pieces made by Alex Nathan,
Josey Coyle, Alicia Courtney and Twilight Edwards.
Whakairo works by several of the Hihiaua carvers are also in the show
as well as exquisite examples of raranga by Aroha Anderson, Diane
Coker, Maree Kimete, Mandy Sunlight and Tui Roman. A colourful
range of handprinted shirts and pareu by Numa McKenzie are popular
along with a large selection of new books for all ages.
Centre stage of the exhibition will be “Ako Ake” – a woven sail. Ako Ake
was started by Hokianga weaver Rauati Waata in 2022 and has been a
teaching sail for weavers from Te Tai Tokerau to Petone and
Puketeraki, Karitane in Te Wai Pounamu. While it is smaller than Te Ra,
the ancient sail which is housed in the British Museum, Ako Ake was
created using the same n=ancient techniques, testing the technical skills
of the weavers. Hihiaua Curator, Alicia Courtney is excited about the
quality and diversity of the exhibition showcasing both up and coming as
well as established local artists.
“Hihiaua will be open every day from December 2 and with all the works
for sale and new arrivals expected, it may change from week to week
throughout the summer. Works will be able to be taken at the time of
purchase and there really is something for everyone looking for gifts or
something special for whanau or themselves,” she says.
As well as the exhibition in Te Wairua Toi Gallery, Hihiaua will be busy
with a range of events over the summer including an international
exchange with Ainu artists from Hokkaido, Japan planned for January.