Kura Te Waru Rewiri

Te Tohu Tuatahi

Te Tohu Tuatahi by Kura Te Waru Rewiri

Artwork Detail

Ko te tāheke kākāriki, mā, whero, pango hoki, he peita kua pānia whakaroharohatia, he peita e toto iho ana i runga i te kāhui takitoru whakapoururu, pahore hoki, a Kura Te Waru Rewiri. Ko Te Tohu Tuatahi, 1991 he tangi i te auhi, i te mamae kua tukuna iho ki te Māori mai i te hainatanga o te Tiriti o Waitangi i te tau 1840, e tohutorohia ana i konei e ngā waitohu rīpeka. I whānau mai a Rewiri e pātata ana ki Waitangi; ko tā tāna peita he titiro ki te pānga o te mamae nō mua ki te tangata kotahi, ki te iwi. Ka oti Te Tohu Tuatahi i te tau whai muri atu i te huritau 150 o te hainatanga o te Tiriti, he wā e whiriwhirihia ai ngā kokoraho maha i te taha o te kāwanatanga; ko tā te toi nei he whakamārama atu, ahakoa ko ngā ‘x’ i whakamahia ai hei waitohu tētahi o ngā tohu tuatahi tonu, ehara i te tohu whakamutunga i tēnei pēhitanga koronoria e haere tonu nei.

Viscerally slathered paint bleeds in a torrent of green, white, red and black down Kura Te Waru Rewiri’s sombre and raw triptych. With a title meaning ‘the first mark’, Te Tohu Tuatahi, 1991 laments the legacy of anguish and pain afflicting Māori since the 1840 signing of the Treaty of Waitangi, which is referenced here by the cross motifs. Rewiri was born near Waitangi, and her painting explores the imprint of historical trauma for both the individual and collective. Produced the year after the 150th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty, and at a time in which a multitude of historic claims were being negotiated with the government, Te Tohu Tuatahi poignantly conveys that while the ‘x’s signing the Treaty may have constituted one of the first marks, they certainly have not been the last in a continuum of colonial oppression.

Title
Te Tohu Tuatahi
Artist/creator
Production date
1991
Medium
acrylic on board
Dimensions
1620 x 1860 mm
Credit line
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, purchased 1993
Accession no
1993/33.1-3
Copyright
Copying restrictions apply
Department
New Zealand Art
Display status
Not on display

To find out which artworks are available for print requests and reproduction please enquire here. This service only applies to select artworks in the Gallery's collection.

Request a print