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Ngā Kete Toi celebrates the work of 30 Maunga Kura Toi tauira that have reached the halfway point of their study with Te Wānanga o Aotearoa.
The tauira-directed exhibition, which opened in Palmerston North last week, features work by both first-year tauira and those studying towards their Maunga Kura Toi (Bachelor of Māori Art) in raranga, whakairo and rauangi (multimedia).
It is one of two art exhibitions that Te Wānanga o Aotearoa is hosting – the other being Te Kāhui Maunga Kura Toi in Hastings.
Kaiako Glenn Hauraki says the exhibition is about encouraging positive pathways for tauira through toi (the arts), creating networks, exhibiting and showing them that there is a career in the arts.
Glenn says the exhibition brings together the different strands of  Te Whare Pora (weaving), Toimairangi (multimedia) and Te Whare o Ruatepupuke (carving).  
Thirty tauira from Wellington, Palmerston North, New Plymouth and Hastings are contributing their mahi.
Among those is Level 6 Maunga Kura Toi Bachelor of Māori Contemporary Art tauira Oriwa Morgan-Ward.
Oriwa, who lived abroad for 40 years wanted to further her Te Ao Māori education through painting and chose Te Wānanga o Aotearoa because of kaiako Sandy Adsett “one of Aotearoa’s profound Māori painters of our day”.

Artwork by Oriwa Morgan-Ward on display at Ngā kete toi exhibition
Oriwa is not a stranger to exhibitions having displayed her work at Kōkiri Te Awamutu, Taiwhenua Heretaunga, Puawai 2014 and Pataka Toi 2015.
“My artwork is an expression of who I am in this world as a Māori woman, my role as a parent and my contributions back to my culture and whānau,” she said.
Oriwa is considering more te reo Māori papers on completion of her degree and to continue her artistic path.
“As a platform I am hoping to keep my skills within the creative world; whether it be teaching, galleries or museum work  and giving back to my iwi in some way promoting Ringa Toi.”
Another artist James Wall of Ngāti Tuwharetoa whakairo works represent kaitiakitanga.
He chose study at Te Wānanga o Aotearoa because it was a Māori-based institution and he felt a connection with the organisation’s mauri.

James wall shows his taiaha, his pieces are on display at Papaiōea
“I want to carry on with maybe a teaching paper so I can teach and pass down the Toanga of Whakairo,” he said.
Ngā Kete Toi, School of Whakairo Māori, 32 Ngata Street, Palmerston North.
The exhibition is open from 9am to 3pm, Monday to Thursday and runs until October 1.
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Published On: 21 September 2015

Article By: James Ihaka

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