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Researchers from The University of Auckland hope to create a new and more inclusive frame to view art through by undertaking a written history of Māori art and artists. The project, Toi Te Mana: A history of indigenous art has been awarded a Marsden Grant of $635,000 to trace the development of Māori art from its Polynesian origins to the present day.
The researchers, Dr Deidre Brown (Architecture and Planning), Professor Jonathan Mane-Wheoki (Fine Arts) and Dr Ngarino Ellis (Art History) will investigate Māori art using indigenous, Kaupapa Māori research methods.
Western art history generally excludes indigenous artists and their work. Māori art has long been acknowledged as one of the world’s great art traditions, but there is no comprehensive written history. The researchers plan to redress this imbalance as far as Māori art and artists are concerned.
Toi Te Mana will set an international precedent as the first comprehensive indigenous art history created by and with indigenous peoples, and aims to help redefine art history in a global context. It will focus on a wide range of art practices, from traditional to contemporary, eg from raranga (weaving) and tā moko (tattooing) to digital media and film.
Dr Brown and her team will analyse Māori art based on case studies, ancestral narratives, historical records, investigations into specific artworks and interviews with contemporary artists. They will also ensure that the contributions of female practitioners and of artist collectives are not overlooked.
This project will make the experience of Māori art accessible and intelligible to local and international audiences through a book, journal articles and conference presentations.
Toi Te Mana: He Kōrero Tāhuhu Mō Te Mahi Toi Māori
He mihi nui tēnei ki a koutou o te ao whānui ā, ki ngai tāua hoki ki te iwi Māori. Akuni, ka mōhiotia whānuitia e koutou ki te kōrero tāhuhu e pā ana ki te mahi toi Māori. Ā, he kaupapa tino nui tēnei nā te mea he torutoru noa iho ngā whakaputanga i te māramatanga me ngā whakaaro e pā ana ki te mahi kairangahau Māori. Nā tākuta Deidre Brown (Ngā Puhi/Ngāti Kahu) ratōu ko te ahorangi Jonathan Mane-Wheoki (Ngā Puhi/Te Aupouri/Ngāti Kuri) ko tākuta Ngarino Ellis (Ngā Puhi/Ngāti Porou) i whai mana ki tēnei kaupapa. Ko te ingoa o tō rātou kaupapa i te reo Ingarihi ko “Toi Te Mana: A history of indigenous art”. I Te Whare Wānanga o Tāmaki Makaurau ēnei tumu kōrero e mahi ana ā, ko tō rātou tino hiahia kia tū ai he kōrero tāhuhu mō te mahi toi Māori. Ā, i mōhio te nuinuinga o te iwi Māori, e tino kaha ana rātou ki tēnei mahi ki tōnā mutunga mai.
Ā, kua mau i a tākuta Deidre Brown mā tetahi pūtea mai i te Marsden fund. Ko te utu mō tēnei ko te $635,000 mō ngā tau e toru. Mā tēnei mahi ā rātou, ka nui noa atu ngā huarahi hei whainga mō tātou katoa mai i Aotearoa tae noa atu ki tāwahi. Ā, ka āta titiro hoki a tākuta Deidre Brown mā i ngā āhuatanga toi Māori mai i te ao tawhito tae noa atu ki te ao hurihuri – mō te mahi raranga, te mahi tā moko tae atu ki ngā mahi o tēnei wā.
Ahakoa kua tīmata kē ngā tohunga tauiwi i ngā whare wānanga ki tēnei kaupapa mahi ai, he itiiti noa iho ō rātou whakaaro mō te ao Māori. Ā, ka riro mā rātou a tākuta Brown mā hei tohutohu haere ā, he whakatikia haere i te ao whānui mō ngā kōrero tāhuhu e pā ana ki te toi Māori.
Kua oti ake nei te whakamārama o tēnei kaupapa “Toi Te Mana: He Kōrero Tāhuhu Mō Te Mahi Toi Māori. Ko te tūmanako, nā tēnei kaupapa e hiki ana ngā moemoea o te iwi Māori. Ā he taonga te kaupapa nei i tukuna mai e tō tātou tīpuna Māori. Nō reira, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā tātou katoa. Ka huri.