Local artist Erena Koopu is committed to sustaining Māori culture through art by guiding and helping people to explore and discover their own creative core.
Koopu was one of the first students to graduate with a degree from EIT Tairāwhiti’s Toihoukura – School of Māori Visual Arts. Since that achievement, she has come full circle and is now responsible for Toihoukura’s Te Toi o Ngā Rangi: Bachelor of Māori Visual Arts degree and Level 4 Foundation Certificate. Koopu is also senior painting lecturer, a role which allows her to investigate art in a framework that encompasses all aspects of Te Ao Māori for students who may have little to no experience of a Māori worldview of art and its related protocols.
“Since childhood, art has played a major role in my life. It is my true passion and has been the motivation for my pursuit of higher education, and has shaped the pathway to my vocational choices.”
This will be Koopu’s first solo exhibition at the Tairāwhiti Museum. It will highlight her journey thus far – filled with the challenges beheld within her sightline and reinterpreted through her visual commentaries stamped with contemporary savvy.