Hiria Anderson (Rereahu, Ngāti Maniapoto, Ngāti Apakura) gained an MFA with First Class Honours from Whitecliffe College of Art and Design. She was raised in her grandparents’ home in the Waikato and today lives in her whānau homestead in Ōtorohanga.
Anderson’s practice is focussed upon painting the everyday lives of the people in her community. She pays particular attention to intertribal relationships and relationships between family members, as well as to the politics and environments that show the nuances and connections between Māori culture and 21st century life.
“I want to produce knowledge about our world at this time through my eyes. I am present in every painting. I felt, experienced and saw those things. The land was that colour. The sky was that blue. I smelt that rain. I saw the reflection of light off that concrete.
But I understand, too, that the prison, the courthouse and the church are political constructs that have disenfranchised Maori. When I paint them, perhaps not everyone will read it in that way but that is the purpose of the work.”