A Māori–Niuean Designer
Postcards Unlocked #38
My mahi as a designer has been in digital or in print. I define graphic design as visual problem solving, this is how I approach my work. My current project surrounds language, in particularly Te Reo Maori. I am making sense of the words through image, my translation of the word and how I picture them to mean. The way I’ve shown the work, adding photography and adding moving image, helps the viewer to understand my translation.
This work sits within the reo revitalistion period that we are currently in, this period brought on by colonisation. The project has it’s challenges but my role as a designer is to solve these. I think my work comments on the conversation of the language still not being easily accessible.
I draw inspiration many ways, whether that be looking at art, watching film, feeling sense of place or listening to talks etc.
I too could relate to this. I looked into this and discovered the report of the Te Reo Maori claim. I see this claim being my lived experience.
The more I understand the context, that being inclusive of colonisation, imperialism etc. the more this work feels important to me. It didn’t start like that though. The project is open ended, by this I mean it is always evolving. I call this project tamata reo meaning to revitalise language.
Johnson Online: Instagram @tamatareo