Ko te tauira tuatahi o te karauna pingao i whatua e Maureen Lander he wāhanga nō tāna hanganga Gilt Complex, 1995 i te whakaaturanga Korurangi: New Māori Art. I reira he whakataurite i te pingao ki te ‘rau koura’ o Ūropi i roto i te horopaki o te mahi toi. Nā tēnei toi i kawe mai te mana tata korehāhā o tēnei tupu tāhuahua ki mua i te aroaro o te marea; ko te tupu nei he taonga ki te Māori, he rawa waiwai mā te tukutuku me te raranga. Ko ngā whakaahua iti, koura, kua taitapatia kei te papa, e whakaatu ana i ngā tauira ātanga o ngā raranga pingao, i te taha o ngā whakaahua mō te tangata e takahi ana i te pingao i ngā tāhuahua, e whakatauraro ana i te rārangi whakaata iti, koura kia kitea te kaimātaki i a ia anō. He mea hakune tā te toi nei e whakaatu ana i te pukuriri e pupū ana i waenganui i ngā iwi Māori. Kua whakaaturia te Māori hei pou kua kākahutia ki te pingao, arā he pou whenua ā, ko ‘te Karauna’, he karauna pingao, kei runga i te rangatiratanga e pā ana ki te takutai, me te āheinga o te iwi ki te hauhake i ōna rawa.
E ai ki tētahi whakataukī ka hutia e Tāne ōna tukemata, ka takohatia ki a Tangaroa hei tohu tatau pounamu whai muri ake i te pakanga a tētahi ki tētahi. Heoi i te whakatakariri tonu a Tangaroa, ka whiua e ia ki ngā tāhuahua, ka mutu ko ‘Ngā Tukemata o Tāne’ te ingoa ināianei. Kei reira tonu e tupu ana, kei te wāhi kei waenganui i te whenua me te moana e tautohetia tonutia ana. I te whakaaturanga o mua, ka tū te Crown Grab Bag ki mua papanga kikorangi, he tauira ‘tukemata’ fleur-de-lis i tuia ai ki ngā rau pingao pakupaku.
Ka hangaia anōtia te Crown Grab Bag, 2006 whai muri i te whakamantanga o te Kāwanatanga Reipa i te Ture Takutai Moana 2004; i taua wā i kōrerotia mō te ‘Whānako Whenua a te Karauna’.
The first version of Maureen Lander’s woven pingao crown was as a component in her installation Gilt Complex, 1995 in the Korurangi: New Māori Art exhibition. In it she compared pingao with European ‘gold leaf’ in the context of art making. The work also brought into public consciousness the endangered status of this native dune plant, which is an important taonga (treasure) for Māori, especially for tukutuku (decorative panels) and raranga (weaving). Small gilt framed photographs on the floor showed exquisite woven examples of pingao alongside people trampling it on the dunes, counterpointed by a row of small gilt-framed mirrors on the wall in which viewers saw themselves. It is no coincidence that this artwork also profiled the fact that there was a growing agitation between Māori iwi (tribes). Māori were represented by a pingao-clad pillar as a pou whenua (land post) and ‘the Crown’, represented by the pingao crown, over current and future ownership of the foreshore and ongoing iwi access to long-established resources.
A whakataukī (proverb) tells of Tāne plucking out his eyebrows and gifting them to Tangaroa as a peace offering, following conflict between the two. However, Tangaroa, still angry, flung them back onto the dunes where they became known as ‘Tāne’s Eyebrows’. And there it still grows in the contested space between land and sea. When previously exhibited, Crown Grab Bag was set against a blue fabric background with an overall fleur-de-lis ‘eyebrow’ pattern stitched on with small pingao leaves.
Crown Grab Bag, 2006 was recreated after the Labour Government passed the Foreshore and Seabed Act 2004, described at the time as being the last great ‘Crown land grab’. (Toi Tū Toi Ora: Contemporary Māori Art, 2020)
- Crown Grab Bag. 2006
- Production date
- pingao fibre, blue textile cushion
- 430 x 500 x 500 mm
- Credit line
- Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, purchased 2011
- Accession no
- Copying restrictions apply
- New Zealand Art
- Display status
- Not on display
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