Kowhaiwhai

Maori Artists

09 FEB - 12 MAR 2022

Kōwhaiwhai is sometimes defined as Māori abstract painting. It is characterised by swirling, spiralling patterns evoking whakapapa – designs which simultaneously connect Māori with the natural world.

Europeans first detected kōwhaiwhai on 18th century hoe (waka paddles) before seeing it on the hulls of waka and on the heke (rafters) of wharenui (meeting houses). Since that time a history of Eurocentric appropriation and assimilation has resulted in kōwhaiwhai becoming (not uncontroversially) a signifier not only of New Zealand art but of Aotearoa New Zealand itself.

To open our 2022 programme we are proud to present the work of ten Māori artists. Each of the ten has a practice that explores, develops and engages with a design principle gifted to them by their ancestors. And each proclaims kōwhaiwhai as a taonga that is powerful, relevant and alive in the 21st Century.

HIRIA ANDERSON (Rereahu, Ngāti Maniapoto, Ngāti Apakura)

NIGEL BORELL (Pirirakau, Ngāi Te Rangi, Ngāti Ranginui, Te Whakatōhea)

LISSY ROBINSON-COLE (Ngāti Hine, Ngāti Kahu)

RUDI ROBINSON-COLE (Ngāti Paoa, Ngaruahine, Ngāti Makirangi, Ngāti Tu)

RUSS FLATT (Ngāti Kahungunu) 

RA GOSSAGE (Ngāti Wai, Ngāti Manuhiri, Ngāti Ruahine)

MAIA McDONALD (Te Ati Āwa Parihaka, Ngāti Mutunga)  Courtesy of ‘Season’

TRACEY TAWHIAO (Ngāi Te Rangi, Te Whakatōhea, Tūwharetoa)

SAFFRONN TE RATANA (Ngāi Tūhoe)

KURA TE WARU REWIRI (Ngāti Pakahi ki Whangaroa, Ngāpuhi Nui Tonu, Ngāti Kauwhata ki Raukawa)

Photography by Kallan MacLeod

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Kowhaiwhai
2022
installation view

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Kowhaiwhai
2022
installation view

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SAFFRONN TE RATANA
Hue #1 Kowenewene
2022
foam, glue, acrylic paint on paper
300mm H x 560mm W
PRIVATE COLLECTION

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KURA TE WARU REWIRI
Nga maumahara
2022
acrylic on canvas
500mm Dia

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KURA TE WARU REWIRI
He kokonga o te ngakau
2022
acrylic on canvas
500mm Dia
PRIVATE COLLECTION

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Kowhaiwhai
2022
installation view

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KURA TE WARU REWIRI
Kowhaiwhai
2022
installation view

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RA GOSSAGE
Kōwhai ngutu kākā (Kaka-beak Flower)
2022
acrylic on board
300mm H x 300mm W
PRIVATE COLLECTION

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Russ Flatt
Kahikātoa
2022
Inkjet photograph on Hahnemühle Photo Rag
400mm H x 400mm W (frame)
Edition: 3 + 1 AP

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Kowhaiwhai
2022
installation view

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Kowhaiwhai
2022
installation view

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TRACEY TAWHIAO
Immune System
2022
acrylic on canvas
700mm H x 700mm W

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TRACEY TAWHIAO
Kowhaiwhai
2022
installation view

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TRACEY TAWHIAO
Light Beacon (Large)
2022
enamel on glass
200mm H x 250mm Dia
Open Edition

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TRACEY TAWHIAO
Light Beacon (Medium)
2022
enamel on glass
190mm H x 200mm Dia
Open Edition

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LISSY & RUDI ROBINSON-COLE
Poukaiāwhā (Hiwaiterangi) created for Wharenui Harikoa (detail)
2022
New Zealand wool, wood, polystyrene
4200mm H x 620mm W x 620mm D

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LISSY & RUDI ROBINSON-COLE
Poukaiāwhā (Hiwaiterangi) created for Wharenui Harikoa
2022
New Zealand wool, wood, polystyrene
4200mm H x 620mm W x 620mm D

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LISSY & RUDI ROBINSON-COLE
Poukaiāwhā (Hiwaiterangi) created for Wharenui Harikoa
2022
New Zealand wool, wood, polystyrene
4200mm H x 620mm W x 620mm D

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Kowhaiwhai
2022
installation view

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Hiria Anderson
Electric Kowhaiwhai (Teohaoturoa Whare On Turongo St)
2022
acrylic on canvas
300mm H x 250mm W

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Hiria Anderson
Abstract Koru & Lock (Teohaoturoa Whare On Turongo St)
2022
acrylic and oil on canvas
250mm H x 300mm W
PRIVATE COLLECTION

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Hiria Anderson
Kowhaiwhai
2022
installation view

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RA GOSSAGE
Kikorangi iti (Little Blue)
2022
acrylic on board
260mm H x 340mm W
PRIVATE COLLECTION

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RA GOSSAGE
Maara Kūmara (Kumara Garden)
2022
acrylic on board
850mm H x 300mm W
CHARTWELL COLLECTION, AUCKLAND ART GALLERY

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RA GOSSAGE
Pōhutukawa Flower
2022
acrylic on board
850mm H x 330mm W
CHARTWELL COLLECTION, AUCKLAND ART GALLERY

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RA GOSSAGE
Kowhaiwhai
2022
installation view

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Kowhaiwhai
2022
installation view

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NIGEL BORELL
E manu rere ii
2021
acrylic dye and watercolour on paper with silk brocade
690mm H x 895mm W (frame)
CHARTWELL COLLECTION, AUCKLAND ART GALLERY

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NIGEL BORELL
Wāhi Oho oho, place of awakening
2021
acrylic dye and watercolour on paper
690mm H x 895mm W (frame)

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NIGEL BORELL
Te Waka O Rangi
2021
acrylic dye and watercolour on paper
690mm H x 895mm W (frame)
PRIVATE COLLECTION

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NIGEL BORELL
E manu rere i
2022
acrylic dye and watercolour on paper
690mm H x 895mm W (frame)

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NIGEL BORELL
Kowhaiwhai
2022
installation view

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Kowhaiwhai
2022
installation view

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Kowhaiwhai
2022
installation view

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MAIA McDONALD
Upu Pere
2020
pit-fired clay
210mm H x 105 mm Dia
PRIVATE COLLECTION

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MAIA McDONALD
Pouaka Iti
2020
gas-fired iron-washed glaze on low fire clay
75mm H x 90mm W x 70mm D
PRIVATE COLLECTION

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MAIA MCDONALD
Hue!
2020
pit-fired clay
200mm H x 150mm Dia
PRIVATE COLLECTION

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NIGEL BORELL
Waimakariri ki uta, Waimakariri ki tai (Waimakariri that stretched from land to sea)
2021
acrylic dye and watercolour on paper with silk brocade (Triptych)
560mm H x 1980mm W

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LISSY + RUDI ROBINSON COLE
Harikoa
2022
digital photographic print
580mm H x 410mm W
Ed: 10

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LISSY + RUDI ROBINSON COLE
Paki
2022
digital photographic print
580mm H x 410mm W
Ed: 10

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LISSY + RUDI ROBINSON COLE
E te tau
2022
digital photographic print
580mm H x 410mm W
Ed: 10

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LISSY + RUDI ROBINSON COLE
Anahera Angel Wings
2022
New Zealand wool
110mm H x 300 mm W
Open Edition / 8 Colours

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LISSY & RUDI ROBINSON-COLE
Anahera Angel Wings Tuamata / Red
2022
New Zealand wool
110mm H x 300 mm W
Open Edition

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LISSY & RUDI ROBINSON-COLE
Anahera Angel Wings Tūranga / Neon Green
2022
New Zealand wool
110mm H x 300 mm W
Open Edition

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LISSY & RUDI ROBINSON-COLE
Anahera Angel Wings Harikoa / Neon Pink
2022
New Zealand wool
270mm H x 470 mm (framed)
Open Edition

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HEMI RANGIAHUTA BENNETT
Whakairo
c.1965
Totara
520mm H x 950mm W
PRIVATE COLLECTION

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HEMI RANGIAHUTA BENNETT
Whakairo (detail)
c.1965
Totara
520mm H x 950mm W
PRIVATE COLLECTION

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HEMI RANGIAHUTA BENNETT
Whakairo (detail)
c.1965
Totara
520mm H x 950mm W
PRIVATE COLLECTION

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HEMI RANGIAHUTA BENNETT
Whakairo (detail)
c.1965
Totara
520mm H x 950mm W
PRIVATE COLLECTION

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Kowhaiwhai
2022
installation view