ART COLLECTION CURATOR: Margaret Aull
The Te Wānanga o Aotearoa art collection is one of the largest contemporary and traditional Māori art collection in the southern hemisphere with more than 1000 art pieces worth $3.5 million.
But “priceless” is how Te Poutiaki Toi - Art Collection Curator Margaret Aull describes Te Kōpuni Kura collection, as each piece retains a piece of wānanga history and whakapapa.
“Developed over 30 years, Te Kōpuni Kura holds the work that has helped shape our wānanga sites as a Māori education provider,” says Margaret, who has been cataloguing and developing the collection since 2007.
“Toi has remained an integral part of the organisational beginnings. Whakairo and raranga are our founding programmes.” Pou whakairo, stained glass murals, tukutuku panels, large paintings and prints from tauira, kaiako and other artists make up the collection.
One of many Te Kōpuni Kura jewels are the Buck Nin Panels, 1997 on display at Te Puna Mātauranga.
Nin was instrumental in pushing for government to recognise and fund wānanga as tertiary institutions.
He and his contemporaries were part of a generation that integrated Māori visual arts into the curriculum for New Zealand schools.
Margaret is on a mission to increase art appreciation and understanding through a series of walk-and-talk seminars at Te Puna Mātauranga.
She encourages kaimahi at all wānanga sites to “stretch their worldview” and “start a dialogue” by taking a moment to engage with their mahi toi.