Whenu – Pa Te Aroha Weavers

Opened 11am 30th April 2011
The exhibition is open from 30th April to 26th May 2011.

Artists’ Statement

Whenu is the shortened form of whenua – the name for the placenta, which nourishes us before birth; and the earth, which nourishes us after birth.

Whenu aptly names a public community art exhibition held here at the Kohukohu Village Arts Gallery.

Whirinaki is the name used when a bunch of eels roll into a ball using many entries into their underwater cave. A modern translation is that Whirinaki is an entrance place for people of all ages and ethnicities to all boil up together i.e. whakawhirinaki.

This is an exhibition of emerging and established weavers’ works that explore the dynamic relationships between tuakana (elder brothers and sisters) and teina (younger brothers and sisters). A gathering of weavers, from novice through to experienced, all exhibiting alongside each other to present our achievements and personal goals in a woven form.

This exhibition is a celebration of eighteen years of weaving wananga that have been held at Pa Te Aroha Marae in Whirinaki, under the guidance of Mandy Sunlight and other local Hokianga weavers, also with tautoko and support from kuia and kaumatua Molly and the late Arapeta, and more recently Waata Winiata Morunga, Aunty Isie and Papa John Bristow, and Aunty Rau Pickering. The beauty of these wananga is that they allow weavers of all skill levels to come together in a marae setting, to share skills and experiences under the sole purpose of continuing the art of raranga/whatu and its associated knowledge. Being held in Hokianga, this kaupapa allows a diverse group of weavers both young and old to learn from each other. Reinforcing whakapapa and ancestral links, bi-culturalism and kotahitanga/unity. Each weaver represents a whenu, or strand of weaving, and woven together we aim to present an exhibition that not only shows works of a high quality finish, but also allows the process of weaving, and learning to weave, to be seen and appreciated by you, the audience.

Haumie, hui e, taiki e!!

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