Jimmy James Kouratoras

Powhiri O Ngā Whetu

Powhiri O Ngā Whetu by Jimmy James Kouratoras

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E ai ki te ringa toi nei ‘kua tae mai te wā ki te whakapā atu ki te kaupapa o te tātai arorangi hei whakaoho i te maumahara, i te wāhi e noho nei ō tātou maumaharatanga, ō tātou whakapapa.’ Hei hāngai ki te taitara, he pōhiri tēnei ki ngā whetū, ngā ariki o te ao Māori. He wāhi whakahirahira tō ngā whetū o te tātai arorangi Māori – hei wāhi tohutoro mā ngā tīpuna i haere mai ai ki Aotearoa, hei tohu mō te waiora, hei āhuatanga o ngā mahi māori noa. Kei te pūtake o ngā mahi toi a Jimmy Kouratoras, he whakatere i te huarahi e hāngai ai ki te aorangi whānui, e hāngai ai ki te mātauranga o ōna tīpuna Māori, Crete hoki. Kei te hāngai ōna wheako hei ringa toi whakaariari o ngā kiriata me ngā whakaata pohewa ki te hanganga i ngā pou hihiri ki runga i te tuarongo whai whetū.

‘It’s time to tune in to the celestial conversation,’ the artist writes, ‘to activate the maumahara (remembrance), the space of our innate memories and our ancestral connections.’ As its title suggests, this is a pōwhiri (welcome, acknowledgment) of ngā whetū, the celestial bodies of te ao Māori (the Māori worldview). As points of reference for tīpuna travelling to Aotearoa, and as tohu (signs) for waiora (wellbeing) and aspects of everyday life, stars play a significant role within Māori cosmology. In Jimmy Kouratoras’s work, navigating a course in relation to the wider universe, and to the inherent knowledge of his Māori and Cretan ancestors, is fundamental. His experience as a scenic artist for fantasy films and television also figures in the dynamic composition of pou (columns) against a starry ground.

Title
Powhiri O Ngā Whetu
Artist/creator
Production date
2019
Medium
acrylic on canvas
Dimensions
1100 x 1520 mm
Credit line
Courtesy of the artist
Accession no
X2020/62/1
Copyright
Copying restrictions apply
Department
New Zealand Art
Display status
On display

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