Te Ao Marama Ngarimu
TE PAKITARA RARANGA
22 December 2012 - 20 January 2013
FHE Project is proud to present Te Pakitara Raranga, The Woven Wall - an exhibition of new works by Master Weaver Te Ao Marama Ngarimu.
Te Ao Marama Ngarimu (Ngati Porou, Te Whanau a Apanui, European Pakeha) has been working with harakeke (New Zealand Flax) for over 20 years. He has exhibited since 1989 in both solo and group exhibitions and he currently resides on Waiheke Island, where he sources the harakeke, gathered from his own property.
Te Pakitara Raranga speaks of the art of weaving as a living tradition brought into a contemporary context. The woven wall is analogous for a shelter, a protection from the elements in the same way Maori were protected by the cloaks they wore. The traditional cloaks also were a sign of social hierarchy, identity and the embellishment a sign of power.
In this new series, Ngarimu has woven seven panels creating one raranga (woven) composition. The woven panels are linked and repeated giving a panoramic perspective. The chosen pattern is similar to the tukutuku designs, which sit between the pou (carved figures) within the wharenui (ancestral house).
Borrowing from a lineage of weavers, in his family and whom the artist came into contact with through growing up in Gisborne, Ngarimu brings traditional techniques into our present time by his use of contemporary design and blocks of colour. The raincape that repels water also embraces warmth. Ngarimu transfers the rich patina of the traditional wooden carvings onto his woven wall.
With such a respect for the material, Ngarimu experiments with the possibilities of the harakeke and whitu (flax) taking it to new places. The woven wall embraces warmth, shelter and protection for all.
Kia wa whakapaua,
moku mauria nga whakaaro tawhiti atu katoa,
Pangia nga ta miro e whakapiti ana,
e whakauru ana mo inaianei,
Kau awhi huri noa aku ringa,
Kona te wea here ana.
Be time consuming,
For you bring thoughts from afar,
Touching every thread,
Twisting, Mingling, for now,
Embraced around my fingers
The fibre that binds.
Photos courtesy of Kallan Macleod