Toi Matarau Goes Online!

Ka hiwa rā! Ka hiwa rā!  Māoriland is very excited to announce the online store for TOI MATARAU, our beloved gallery at the Māoriland Hub.

Ka mate kāinga tahi, ka ora kāinga rua. Turning plan A into plan B!!

When COVID-19 shut the doors of the Toi Matarau gallery and exhibition space in late March, it cut short months of preparation that had gone towards the seventh Māoriland Film Festival. In the weeks since our team has quickly adopted “Plan B”, and are excited to open TOI MATARAU online. 

Toi Matarau is the expression of multi mixed media toi Māori, encompassing all disciplines both traditional and contemporary, established to support local artists of the Art Confederation; Te Āti Awa, Ngāti Raukawa, Ngāti Toa Rangatira in Ōtaki and Kāpiti.

Whaea Sonia Snowden photographed by Greg Semu for Suzanne Tamaki

There are 74 contributing artists aged from 11 – 70+ with the youngest being 11 years old and the oldest being the 2020 recipient of the highest Creative NZ award for Māori artists, the Sir Kingi Ihaka award, master weaver Whaea Sonia Snowden.

Kaitiaki Toi Maakarita Paku said Toi Matarau is unique where teina, tuākana, pakeke and kaumātua exhibit and work alongside each other, students, teachers and tutors.

“Toi Matarau artists are really excited and appreciate the amount of mahi the design team has done to get their works online during the COVID-19 lockdown. They’ve had a sneak preview and love what they see.” said Maakarita.

As University of Auckland professor Peter O’Connor recently said at the beginning of lockdown every major disruption in human history has looked to artists to make sense of what is happening and to help society heal.

If the arts are vital for the present, they are even more important for our future. They feed and nourish our imaginations. A better world can only be made if we first imagine that it is possible.

Artists will lead in the imagining we will all need to do as citizens to ensure we might be better as a nation for the sacrifices made now. Hope will, when we finally come out of these times, be the key building block in the reconstruction of a better, more just world.

The arts are healing balms because at their heart is a celebration of life, a celebration of the possibility of joy, of wonder, of beauty. In the coming days, as the fragility of life is increasingly threatened, the arts will be part of what puts us back together.

– Professor Peter O’Connor 

Toi Matarau features weaving, textile and fibre art, carving, clay, paint, lino printing, screen printing, digital art, photography, mixed media, fashion design and accessories, body adornment, jewellery design, object design, sculpture and drawing.

The majority of artists are students or graduates of Te Wānanga o Raukawa Ōtaki, Te Wānanga o Aotearoa, Toihoukura Gisborne, Toirauwhārangi Massey University Wellington, Toioho ki Āpiti Massey University, Whitireia Porirua, Tomairangi Hastings, Te Puia Rotorua, EIT Napier and AUT Auckland.

Toi Matarau is grateful for the ongoing support of senior artists; Sonia Snowden, Diane Prince, Norman Heke, Wendy Whitehead, Fayne Robinson, Ian Grant, Lewis Gardiner, Hiwirori Maynard, Robyn Kahukiwa, Suzanne Tamaki, Tracey Tawhiao, Kohai Grace, Hemi MacGregor, Elaine Bevan Pip Devonshire, Hinepuororangi Tahuparae and Neke Moa.

“We are proud to launch a well supported sustainable space for them to thrive and introduce themselves to viewers outside of their bubbles, this is very positive and affirming to artists.  To all of us celebrating the important place art has in ensuring our wellbeing,” Māoriland Charitable Trust