Peter Robinson

Painting 1993

Painting 1993 by Peter Robinson

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Ka whiua auautia e ngā toi a Peter Robinson i ngā tau tīmatanga o 1990 he pātai mō ngā āhuatanga o te ringa toi Māori. Kei te taha o ngā hanganga waka i tēnei toi, he tau ōrau e pā ana ki te rahi o te whakapapa (Māori) o te ringa toi. Kei te whakatakotoria te whakapapa Māori e pā ana ki te taenga mai o te waka ki Aotearoa ki te taha o te āwhata ōwehenga e ai ki te pāngarau. He kōrerorerohanga nui ēnei i ngā tau tīmata o 1990 i te wā e ara mai ai ngā pātai mō te rahi o ngā toto ā-iwi e pā ana ki te tuakiri me te ahurea o te tangata. Kei te hāngai pū ēnei āhuatanga ki ngā kerēme kei mua i te Taraipiunara o Waitangi e aro atu ai ki ngā hononga ā-iwi. I te wā i hangaia ai tēnei toi, i te matapaki a Kāi Tahu (te iwi o Robinson) me te Karauna; i oti taua hātepe i te tau 1998. Mā te huritao i te tuakiri ahurea hei takitini, ehara i te takitahi, arā, he whakaeminga waka, he whakawhanaungatanga, e tuwhera ai te tuatini nui e pā ana ki te honotanga o te ira tangata ki te wāhi.

Peter Robinson’s works from the early 1990s frequently interrogated questions about what it means to be an artist of Māori descent. The waka (canoe) forms in this work are each accompanied by a percentage figure relating to the artist’s genetic inheritance. The understanding of Māori whakapapa (genealogy) in terms of connection to a specific waka taenga (arrival canoes) in Aotearoa New Zealand is juxtaposed against the mathematical quantifying of inheritance. These were all popular debates in the early 1990s when the blood quantum measure polarised discussions about identity and the claiming of a cultural heritage. This has resonance in the context of Waitangi Tribunal claims, where individual iwi (tribal) connections may be under consideration. At the time this work was made, Kāi Tahu (Robinson’s tribe) was in negotiations with the Crown, a process that was completed in 1998. Visualising cultural identity as collective rather than individual – as a gathering of waka, of relationships – opens up an abundant complexity, acknowledging and returning to the interconnection of ira tangata (humankind) and place.

Title
Painting 1993
Artist/creator
Production date
1993
Medium
tar, wax, earth and oil on canvas
Dimensions
1020 x 5320 mm
Credit line
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, purchased 1993
Accession no
1993/8
Copyright
Copying restrictions apply
Department
New Zealand Art
Display status
On display

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