Māori creation narratives tell us that when our mortal bodies leave this world our spirits travel to the realm of Rarohenga (the underworld), where they are guided and cared for by Hine-nui-te-pō (great woman of night, keeper of souls). From there, we return to the great cosmos to become stars in the night sky, and the cycle of life repeats. The artists below explore the nature of time: the various ways time is understood and suspended within the cycle of life – creation, death and rebirth. Some artworks pay tribute to the power of female divinity and transformation. We are reminded that Hine-tītama (dawn maiden) makes the greatest sacrifice and undergoes the biggest change when, to look after humankind as they leave this world and travel to the next, she becomes Hine-nui-te-pō.
E ai ki ngā kōrero Māori mō te hanganga o te ao, ka mate ana te tangata, ka haere te wairua ki Rarohenga, e arahina ai, e manaakitia ai e Hine-nui-te-pō. Atu i reira ka hoki te wairua ki te tātai arorangi ki reira tū ai hei whetū, ā, ka pērā tonu te mataora haere ake nei. Kei tēnei whare whakairi toi huritao ai ngā ringa toi i ngā ariā e tūhura ai i ngā āhuatanga o te wā. Kei te whakatewhatewha i ngā huarahi huhua kia whai mārama ai ki te wā e tārewa ana inā ka aro atu ki te mataora – hanganga, mate, whānautanga mai. Kitea ai ngā toi e tūtohu ai i te mana o te atua wahine i roto i ngā tikanga o mua me te whakaaro ki te panoni atu. Kei te hoki atu ki aua kōrero mō Hine-tītama nāna ia anō i whakaraupanga, ā nāna te panonitanga nui rawa i tōna huringa hei Hine-nui-te-pō ki te manaaki i te tangata e wehe nei i tēnei ao ki te haere ki te pō.