Matariki Exhibitions 2022 ~ Ka Poipoia (To nurture)
Ka poipoia, he kākano, kia puāwai is the whakatauki that binds a series of Matariki exhibitions this year. Nurture the seed and it will flourish in celebration of the first annual holiday for Matariki Maori new year.
Ka Poipoia is an exploration and celebration of Matariki as an opportunity for us all to re-frame our experience of the natural world, in terms defined by Māori.
Curator Elizabeth Allen, Ngāti Porou
Matariki is the indigenous commemoration of seasonal change that has now become a national holiday for all New Zealanders. This exhibition explores the celebration of Matariki as an opportunity for us all to re-frame our experience of the natural world, in terms defined by Māori.
Matariki is both seasonally and culturally specific to Aotearoa; it acknowledges our dependence on the bounty of nature that also aligns with the Southern hemisphere seasons.
In pre-colonial Māori culture, the rising of Matariki signified the start of a new year, a time to complete harvesting; hunt certain fish/animals and the time to plant new crops.
Matariki celebrations were noted by colonial accounts in the 1920s and 1930s, however, with the colonisation of New Zealand came the hegemony of 20th century European worldviews, that ultimately saw the decline of its commemoration.
However, over the past couple of decades there has been a greater awareness among the general New Zealand population of the place of Te Reo Māori in both the history and future of Aotearoa. This awareness is recognized as part of a process that helps us to be increasingly conscious of our unique cultural identity.
Matariki as a national holiday can be understood as a next step in this appreciation, of the wider cultural traditions of Māori -Matairiki – one of the most significant celebrations in the Māori calendar-the indigenous, Aotearoa, New Year!
To acknowledge and share knowledge of this star constellation known as Ngā Mata o Te Ariki a Tāwhirimātea -the eyes of the Wind-God, who in a state of anguish tore out his eyes and threw them to the heavens (he was upset his parents, Ranginui/Sky Father and Papatuānuku/Earth Mother, were separated by his brothers). Wind-God eye matter scattered into the universe and became known as the seven stars that rise above the Southern hemisphere horizon – named Matariki, Ururangi, Waitii Waitā, Tupu-ā-nuku, Tupu-ā-rangi and Waipunarangi. In Japan the constellation is known as Subaru and in Europe, Pleiades.
Each artist has been asked to create a work that relates to any of the universally relevant set of concepts around food production, self-development, and sharing with others. The seven stars of Matariki are also to be represented by the artists in a myriad of forms.