Claimed as the first of its kind in the Cook Islands and produced by a collective group of Pacific artists, the ‘Itae (“try to attain – reach for”) exhibition is a platform for indigenous artists to present creative works, says spokesman and artist Shane Tuaeu Andrew
All four exhibiting artists attended the Putahi 5 artist gathering in Papaetee, Tahiti in June this year. The event was also attended by artists from Hawaii, New Caledonia, Tonga, Samoa and New Zealand.
The Cook Islands contingent is now seeking funding and sponsorship to host Putahi 6 in Rarotonga and tomorrow’s exhibition is designed to encourage interest about connecting indigenous artists and strengthening now relationships between artist and the community, says Andrew.
Cook Islands artist Stormy Kara has taken traditional tattoo “flash” style artworks and created new works as tributes to her grandparents, brother, sister and son. They recognise her lineage of Cook Islands Maori (Ngati Kaena) and New Zealand Maori (Ngati Kahungunu, Tainui) and European roots. She will also show two of her “I-Spy” series. Stemming from a childhood love for the I-Spy books and the recent surge of adult colouring-in books.
Shane Tuaeu Andrew’s display of surrealism acrylic paintings will depict the effects of how our hands have manipulated the land and sea, while Raniera Ellison’s – Akairo Creative progression of distinctive lines and fine details will be challenged by mother of pearl shell.
New Zealand graffiti artist Poi Ngawati, aka TECHS, will showcase some of his most recent work.
“TECHS is a proud Maori artist who descended from Ngapuhi and Tainui,” Andrew said. “He will be painting a new interior feature wall inside KareHa studio as a contribution to the exhibition, alongside a series of limited edition prints that will also be on display.
“He has previously featured his graffiti work on the front facade of the KareHa studio and is a passionate traditional voyager.
“The purpose of the show for me is to hopefully start filling in the empty void of Cook Islanders producing Cook Island art in the Cook Islands. There is so much unrecognised creative talent here, and we need to share it with the world.
“We want to get things moving for local indigenous artists to be inspired to create.”
The artists welcome everyone to attend the exhibition and support the Cook Islands creative community.
The opening starts at 6.30pm and the show will run until Monday, October 30.
For more information, contact Shane Tuaeu Andrew on 55018. - Release