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Te rama taka i te Rangi

13.07.2016 – 30.07.2016

Tamsen Hopkinson

Te Rama Taka I Te Rangi
A light falls from the sky

for my grandmothers
Te Paea Polly White &
Erica Mary Hopkinson

Ko Haruru toku maunga
Ko Mohaka toku awa
Ko Takitimu toku waka
Ko Ngati Kahungunu toku iwi
Ko Ngati Pahauwera toku hapu
Ko Tamsen Mary Hopkinson toku ingoa

Haruru is my mountain
Mohaka is my river
Takitimu is my canoe
Ngati Kahungunu is my tribe
Ngati Pahauwera is my sub-tribe
Tamsen Mary Hopkinson is my name

Te rama taka i te Rangi explores the transitory space created by the co-existence of both Indigenous and European identities. It draws on Maori principles that underpin the gathering, use and function of natural and manufactured materials.This show recognises the importance of holistic Maori matriarchy, which is grounded in Papatuanuku (Earth Mother). As such, it is also a critique of eurocentric, colonising patriarchy. The complete disregard of indigenous culture and protocol has created an imbalance in the natural and spiritual world. This calls into question the harmful effects of colonisation, and how we navigate our identity within this imbalance.Traditionally Maori used the stars as a navigational tool. Matariki is a cluster of seven stars that rises mid-winter and signifies a new beginning; a new year, allowing continual navigation. The disconnection between people and the land due to colonisation means we are unable to navigate the spiritual world through the natural world. This imbalance means that Matariki is no longer a time of celebration; rather it is a time of mourning. We are mourning the loss of Maori ways of knowing that allowed navigation through our own culture, and also others. This process is a time to acknowledge where we are presently, by addressing the past in order to move forward.

Te rama taka i te Rangi is an acknowledgement of my tupuna (ancestors) specifically my maternal Maori grandmother Te Paea Polly White and my paternal Irish/English grandmother Erica Mary Hopkinson. The framework of this show has been in collaboration with my whanau (family); Mary Hopkinson, Joan McKenzie, Jan Bryant, Erica Mere Hopkinson and Leo John Te Whai Hopkinson.

Ina kei te mohio koe ko wai koe, I anga mai koe i hea, kei te mohio koe. Kei te anga atu ki hea.

If you know who you are and where you are from, then you will know where you are going.Image credits:   Tamsen Hopkinson | ngaronga (Wye River), 2016 charcoal, bark, seagull feather, plastic and sand on canvas 305 x 255 mm

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