Whakairo – carving, is the primary artform produced for this exhibition by six local kai whakairo – carvers, their ages and experience spanning three generations. This show revisits the origins and foundations of these ‘artforms’ engineered for one purpose, the practice of survival. These forms such as mau rakau, mahi o te kai maara, mahi o te kai moana are forever evolving and adapting, the past and the present aligning with the old and the new.
From the museum’s Taonga Māori collection carefully selected companion pieces will be displayed in the gallery alongside their contemporary equivalents. The scale model and original pieces of the Hawaiki Turanga public memorial, an important representation of paramount ancestry, will be revealed for the first time and will carry the mauri of the exhibition
There will be opportunity to observe the making of traditional gardening tools and their functionality for local maara during the time of Matariki and there will be occasion to hear korero on the taiao, maramataka, whakairo and whakapapa.
Kai whakairo – Eru Brown, Tamanay Tuhou, Houston Pekin, Meka Mauriri, Kiwa Mihaka, Matthew Randall