Māori (Ngāi te Rangi, Whakatoahea, Tuwharetoa) Painter & Poet based in Piha
Postcards Unlocked #28
My art practice begins in the grassroots movement of Māori conscious raising around land theft, systemic racism and colonial practices of assimilation which in effect forced Māori to leave their own systems of wellbeing. My art was given to me by my ancestors and I’ve used it for my own wellbeing and as a shared medium for all others wellbeing.
Recently I went on a trip to Hawaii to propose a project with friends around the primordial connection of our islands and in particular – the pacific triangle. The three points on that triangle are Aotearoa, Hawaii and Rapanui. The centre of them being Tahiti. I took three pounamu to Hawaii and planted them in three sacred sites there. My aim was to begin the revival of my own consciousness around the ancient sites that bind these three islands. My vision was that by reconnecting these sites a power of magnitude, would force a shift in consciousness. I love a project where my ideals surpass actual reality.
I was very fortunate to stay with Dr Kalani Young and Pāke Salmon. Both part of grassroots Hawaiian activism. Divine guidance is when you find yourself exactly where you wanted to be. Amongst scholars of indigenous practice.
Here is a page from my journal while in Hawaii, 29 November 2019:
Be open and be vulnerable. It’s okay to feel inadequate amongst grassroots legends.
(A note to self)
I’m in Makaha on Oahu Island Hawaii and last night our Hawaiian whanau threw us a party. They were honouring us by making time to connect with each other, with us and I felt undeserving of the beautiful love. They say my art is a picture of our future vibrating the new frequency. And that is the highest compliment I’ve ever received.
Aloha is the grounding principle here; the people are vibrating love as easily as breathing and all this is done in the midst of uneasy state control. The grassroots movement knows the new world lies in the ancient natural ways, that these ways are in line with nature’s greatest purpose, to be our supernatural home. They talk of transitions necessary to go from corporate dollar economy to grassroots economy, they talk of new paradigms that require new consciousness, they talk of ancient practices of acknowledging Nature in rituals of pure positive intention. The essence of these cousins of ours is positive production and progressive purpose.
Covid 19 is perhaps part of the paradigm shift we discussed in Hawaii. But of course, we didn’t know how it would happen; we just knew it would inevitably have to happen.