A poster exhibition of designs by 16 Maori students from the College of Creative Arts, featuring work ranging from designs of a fly-fishing boat to Japanese-inspired Manga art, opens to the public on Wednesday.
Iwi Creativity, is the annual celebration of Maori students in the fields of design, visual and material culture and fine arts, and this time will be complemented by a public lecture by architectural designer and artist Jacob Scott.
This year’s exhibition marks the fifth anniversary of its first showing which was devised by Kaiwhakaahua, Director of Maori Development at the College, Associate Professor Ross Hemera, with the purpose of recognising and encouraging the connection students have with their iwi.
“The idea is to show our support for our students by recognising their iwi connections and celebrating what they are studying in creative arts.”
The exhibition has attracted students studying across a range of disciplines from communication design, textile design, industrial design as well as fine arts.
A poster by final year industrial design student Gordon Robinson, who identifies with Nga Puhi and Ngati Whakaue iwi, depicts images of a model of a watercraft for fly-fishing. It addresses the performance problems of size, assembly and portability of current craft available in the market, he says.
“Conceptually it plays upon the notions of escapism, the challenge of fly-fishing and the spirituality found in the fishing environment,” he says.
Mr Robinson, who is of one-eighth Maori descent, says his interest in this side of his heritage was motivated more from finding out more about himself than any particular aspect of his design work.
Part Maori and part Tahitian Visual communication design student Taupuru Brightwell, from Ngati Porou, whose artworks include a vibrant poster promoting Wellington Zoo, is deeply inspired by Japanese Manga art, design and narrative.
Associate Professor Hemera points out that all the exhibiting students share not only a passion for their work but also their iwi affiliation – regardless of how strong or tenuous that may be.
“We recognise that people are at different stages of understanding their whakapapa. The important thing is that people are making the connection with their iwi.”
“This iwi creativity initiative reaffirms our goal to enhance Maori achievement in the College.”
Jacob Scott’s lecture ‘Looking Forward Looking Back’ is on at the Museum Building theatrette, Buckle St, Wellington at 6pm on Wednesday September 21. The exhibition opens at 7pm upstairs in the Tea Gardens. It is then runs daily from 10am-5pm daily from September 22-29.