Mere Lodge

Mata Whenua

Mata Whenua by Mere Lodge
Mata Whenua by Mere Lodge

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Ko tā tēnei toi tārai nā Mere Harrison Lodge he titiro ki ngā kaupapa e pā ana ki ōna whenua Māori i Ruatoria i te tairāwhiti o Te Ika-a-Māui. He tauākī te pepeha nei: he whakapuaki i te tūrangawaewae o te tangata. Ki a Lodge he kōhine Māori i te Elam School of Fine Arts o te Whare Wānanga o Tāmaki Makaurau i ngā tau 1960 – e noho wehe ana i ōna whenua – ko tēnei toi rauwhero iti he maumaharatanga o te auhi, o te manawa pā, ki te whakawhanake i te whenua me ngā whare i Ruatōria whai muri i te Pakanga II o te Ao. Kitea ai i roto i āna mahi toi o taua wā, te mokemoke me te maumahara i te whakahirahira o te whakatipu ki te kāinga.

Hikurangi te maunga – Hikurangi is the mountain

Waiapu te awa – Waiapu is the river

Ruatoria te whenua – Ruatoria is the region

This early sculptural piece by Mere Harrison Lodge explores issues relating to her tribal lands of Ruatoria on the East Coast of the North Island. The pepeha or tribal saying above is a declaration: a reclaiming of one’s connection to land and culture. For Lodge as a young Māori woman attending the University of Auckland Elam School of Fine Arts in the 1960s – away from her tribal homelands – this small bronze piece recalls the anguish and tension of developing land and housing in Ruatoria after World War II. A mixture of homesickness and a recollection of the importance of one’s tribal upbringing permeated her art making at this time.

Title
Mata Whenua
Artist/creator
Production date
1963
Medium
bronze with wooden base
Dimensions
400 x 300 mm
Credit line
Courtesy of the artist
Accession no
X2020/73/1
Copyright
Copying restrictions apply
Department
New Zealand Art
Display status
On display

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