Vanessa Wairata Edwards

Kua Ngaro

Kua Ngaro by Vanessa Wairata Edwards

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Ko te manu, te kōiwi me te kōwhaiwhai ngā waitohu auau o ēnei mahi toi. Ko te apaapanga o aua mea i roto i ēnei mātātuhi he whakamaumaharatanga o te whakapapa, me te takenga mai o ngā mea ora katoa o te taiao, i a Papatūānuku rāua ko Ranginui. Ko te taitara o te raupapatanga he kārangaranga o te tauākī, ‘He taonga nō te whenua, me hoki anō ki te whenua’. Kei te tino hāngai tēnei tauākī ki te tikanga Māori e tanu ai te whenua o te pēpi ki te whenua. Mā tēnei tikanga e tūhonotia ai ā-kiko, ā-wairua, te tamaiti hou ki tōna whakapapa. Ka mutu tōna wā ki tēnei ao kiko, ka whakahokia ōna kōiwi ki te whenua – haere ake nei te hurihanga, haere ake nei te hurihanga. Ko tā ēnei mahi toi he huritao ki te kaha o te mōhio ki te whakapapa, hei hanga i ngā whakaaro, i te honotanga, i ngā kawenga, e pā ana ki te taiao.

Birds, human bones and kōwhaiwhai (rafter painting) are reoccurring motifs in these works. Their layering in these prints is a reminder of whakapapa (genealogy), that all life in the taiao (natural environment) descends from Papatūānuku (earth mother) and Ranginui (sky father). The series title echoes the intent of the saying ‘He taonga nō te whenua, me hoki anō ki te whenua’ – What is given by the land, should return to the land. This saying is connected to the Māori customary tradition of burying whenua (placenta) in the whenua (land). The act establishes a physical and spiritual connection for the new-born baby to their whakapapa. When their life ends, their body/bones are again returned to the whenua – and so the cycle continues. These works reflect on the power understanding whakapapa has on one’s perception, connection and responsibilities to the taiao.

Title
Kua Ngaro
Artist/creator
Production date
2012
Medium
drypoint and screenprint on paper
Dimensions
350 x 550 mm
Credit line
Private collection
Accession no
X2020/101/8
Copyright
Copying restrictions apply
Department
New Zealand Art
Display status
On display

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