Emily Karaka

Kingitanga ki Te Ao (They will Throw stones)

Kingitanga ki Te Ao (They will Throw stones) by Emily Karaka

Artwork Detail

Kīngitanga ki Te Ao (They will throw stones) is part of a series that articulates and expresses Karaka’s ancestral relationship with Ihumātao and the sorrow, anguish and mamai (trauma) felt in the wake of the ongoing political struggle and land dispute at Ihumātao, in which Karaka is actively involved.

Ihumātao is among Aotearoa’s earliest sites of Māori settlement and is believed to be one of the first places where Māori in Tāmaki Makaurau settled, farmed and thrived from 1450. In recent years the area has become a highly-charged site of ongoing and persistent political struggle and protest. In 2016 Auckland Council sold 32 hectares of land adjacent to the Ōtuatua Stonefields Reserve to Fletcher Residential to be transformed into housing developments. Community members and supporters camped at Ihumātao in protest from 2016-2019, their numbers increasing to over 1000 after a police eviction notice was served in July 2019. Karaka was actively involved in resisting the sale of land.

Kīngitanga ki Te Ao (They will throw stones) draws a lineage between the historical and contemporary injustices inflicted on her tribal lands, expressing the anguish and mamai inflicted on the land and its people by the British Government. In the bottom left the tentacles of the ‘New Zealand Governor’ spread out across the land, representing the encroaching imposition of colonial authority through government mandates [Resource Management Act, the Wastelands Act (1858), the New Zealand Act (1863)]. To the right, in white, are listed Auckland Unitary Plan numbers. SHA 62 refers to the agreement negotiated between Fletchers and mana whenua, in which it was agreed that 25% of the land and 40 social houses be returned. Tino Rangatiratanga flags fly above, proclaiming the right and continuing presence of mana whenua on the land.

Painted in Karaka’s distinctive high-keyed, pulsating colour palette, Kīngitanga ki te Ao maps trajectories between the past and present in an emotive, expressive cartography of ongoing Māori trauma and resistance.

Kingitanga ki Te Ao (They will Throw stones)
Emily Karaka
Production date
acrylic and mixed media on canvas
1990 x 2770 mm
Credit line
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, purchased with the assistance of. the Auckland Contemporary Art Trust, 2021
Accession no
Copying restrictions apply
New Zealand Art
Display status
Not on display

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