Artists spotlighted in two-show opening

ENGAGEMENT: Hana Pera Aoke presents a three-channel video work in Not to Represent But Memorialise. E4778-10 

Kathy Forsyth

A TWO-GALLERY exhibition, showcasing the extraordinary work of two local Eastern Bay artists, is opening at Te Kōputu, Whakatāne library and galleries this weekend,

In the Sheaff Gallery, Adele Tierney, a talented Whakatāne artist affiliated with Ngāti Awa, Ngāti Rangithi, Tūwharetoa, and Te Whakatōhea iwi, presents her series, Ao te Pō – Pō te Ao.

This series comprises 18 drawings in ink and Tūhourangi black sand, collectively telling the story of a journey into the night realm, Te Pō.

This narrative begins at the dawn of space and time, during the formation of creation, with Hine-tītama (light) retreating from Te Ao Marama into the sanctuary of Te Pō (night).

Tierney, a multiple-time finalist in the prestigious Molly Morpeth Canaday Awards, is renowned for her detailed drawing technique and deep commitment to environmental issues and supporting kaumātua (elders) in her community.

Meanwhile, in the Whakatāne Community Board Gallery, Hana Pera Aoake (Ngaati Mahuta, Ngaati Hinerangi, Waikato/Tainui), an artist, writer, and occasional teacher based in Kawerau, presents Not to represent, but memorialise.

This three-channel video work explores ways of engaging with museums, archives, and gardens, raising poignant questions about the displacement of taonga Māori and the ubiquity of English bees.

Aoake’s multidisciplinary and collaborative practice articulates the ongoing effects of colonialism on our environment, from the journeys of plants and objects, to the privatisation of land and water, and the role of the state and industry in the environmental degradation of sacred places.

Curator Aimee Ratana is excited to spotlight Eastern Bay’s artistic talent.

“This exhibition is a real celebration of our local artists,” she said.

“We’re immensely proud to showcase the incredible artistic talent within the Eastern Bay and these works are testament to the rich cultural narratives and creativity residing in our community.

“Te Kōputu a te Whanga a Toi is more than just a gallery, it’s a special place and where these stories can be shared and celebrated, and we invite all to come and enjoy these artworks.”

The exhibitions open to the public tomorrow and will be joined by an additional exhibition by Zena Elliot (Ngāti Awa), opening on Saturday, July 27. All three exhibitions will be on display until August 31.

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