artist text / Mere Taylor-Tuiloma
We are a group of wāhine who work for ĀKAU, the majority of whom work in the Kaikohe ĀKAU Studio, whilst our other wāhine live south of us but are connected through our design and workspaces online. Working in and around Kaikohe keeps us connected to our community and to the Taitamariki who are our greatest inspirational leaders of our future now.
We were invited to be a part of this kaupapa by Anamaria Heremaia, our Director based in Te Taitokerau. She wanted to share this platform with all of us, nō reira tēnā koe. Each of us contributed a ‘tohu’, or mark, to this project and we eventually created our Whare Wahine Toi o ĀKAU poster, Mana Wahine, mai i a Ranginui ki a Papatūānuku — te whenua ki te moana. What you see is our combined presence in ‘our present’ for wherever we are and whenever we are … there we are now.
As a collective of wāhine toi, each of us have our own view of what being ‘present’ means to us. For this contextual writing I can only offer my view of being ‘present’ … which is ‘it depends’.
It depends upon my state and my outcome for me, in any context. It means that I am present in my past, present and future all at the same time, it just depends on my state of being and my outcome for me and those I love, and who love me in return.
In the context of this poster, my present was my state of being open to sharing and my outcome was to be the kind of person who could share my tohu.
My moko kauae is my tohu. It represents everything that I love about being me and being Māori. It is my present in this space of designers, it is my past and it is my future.
On behalf of ngā wāhine toi o ĀKAU we thank the wāhine o Te Pū o Te Wheke Trust and their tāne for taking on this exhibition and for providing a place, and a space, for ‘Present Tense: Wahine Toi Aotearoa’ to be shared with the people of Kaikohe and Te Taitokerau, tēnā koutou katoa.
Mere Taylor-Tuiloma / wahine toi
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essay / Mauri — an opportunity to connect / Desna Whaanga-Schollum, August 2019
artist text / On being present… / Mere Taylor-Tuiloma, August 2019
essay / Snakes, Ladders and Tables / Chloe Geoghegan, July 2019
curatorial text / No longer the exception / Lucy Wardle, August 2019
essay / Broken record / Lana Lopesi, April 2019
curatorial text / This present future / Wendy Richdale, April 2019
radio / Erin Broughton & Catherine Griffiths / Yujin Shin, August 2019
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return to Present Tense : Wāhine Toi Aotearoa