Collecting earth

Pūrākau tells us how Hineahuone was formed by Tane with the whenua of his mother Papatūānuku. This gift of the mother giving part of herself to make and then nurture new life is why I have chosen each imprint to represent the four generations of wāhine in my whānau. I have kindly been gifted 3 natural pigments for these works:

The darkest red comes from the side of a volcano called Maunganui Bluff on the West Coast by Waipoua forest. I will use this pigment for my nanny and grandmothers imprint of the wheku. The wheku represents an ancestor. Volcanoes have so much activity inside them they are almost otherworldly, so I chose this pigment for both my grandmothers who has passed, as it best relates to those who have passed yet still remain active in our lives.

The brighter red is from marae up north Ngai Tawake. I will use this pigment with my mothers imprint which is of a kete. The kete to me represents manaakitanga, aroha and mana wāhine. The marae to me also represents those values and the whare tangata of a mother, so was my choice for my mum.

The much lighter red, almost beige, is ground down Totara heart wood. I will use this for the imprint representing myself, an imprint of my pounamu which is bound with an imprint of a leaf. Wood these days is often cut down and shipped out away from the soil it grew, this spoke to me as I have always felt a longing for my home, Nuhaka. The imprint of my pounamu speaks of handed down taonga and whakapapa.

The last yellow pigment is collected by myself and my kids close to where we currently live at the river, Te Awa Kairangi. I chose this for my daughters imprint of the Mangopare ki Nuhaka kōwhaiwhai pattern. My daughter is our whānau connection back to Te Ao Māori & Te Reo Maori so using the kowhaiwhai pattern from the tāhuhu at Kahungunu marae in Nuhaka places us all back home even though we are afar which is represented with our new locations pigment.

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