Ākonga graduating from NorthTec’s Maunga Kura Toi (Bachelor of Māori Arts) had their opening night for the end of year art exhibition Te Āo Tūroa. They had a fantastic turnout with great support given to the featured artists.
“Interwoven with accompanying narratives, Te Ao Tūroa emphasizes the power of the Māori worldview,” says Dale Harding-Thomas, NorthTec’s Pathway Manager- Creative.
NorthTec’s Maunga Kura Toi gives students the chance to specialize in whakairo (carving), rāranga (weaving), or rauangi (visual arts) and gives graduates the ability to contribute to Toi Māori, Te Ao Māori, and give back to their communities and the industry itself.
“Artists that have gone before us keep the home fires lit in terms of where, what, and who we are in the changing world,” says Moana Rankin, one of the exhibited graduates. “Art brings about change, new perspectives, and now it’s our turn to give life to the stories through our creative mediums.”
The exhibition allowed ākonga graduating from the degree to feature their work and gave kaiako and whānau the chance to celebrate the mahi that went into the art, as well as the journey the ākonga went through to reach this point.
“The ākonga have worked so hard to get here. We’ve had four locked down in Auckland, but they still worked through to produce their art,” says Lorraine King, tutor for NorthTec.
The exhibition was opened with karakia and a walk-through of both the Geoff Wilson Gallery, showing the graduating students’ works of art, and the Māori arts building, where selections of work from the 1st and 2nd year Maunga Kura Toi students was displayed.
Artists, kaiako, and guests then congregated back outside for traditional formalities, acknowledgments, and a blessing of the provided food. Guests were then allowed to peruse the art, korero with the artists and tutors, and partake in the supplied refreshments.
Hineraukura Norris, another graduating artist, sums up the entire kaupapa with a few simple words. “Ko te reo , ko te toi. Ko te toi, ko te reo,” loosely translated as, language is art, art is my language.