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Dorothy Waetford

Rohe: Te Taitokerau

Ngātiwai, Ngātihine, Ngāpuhi-nui-tonu

Ko Onekainga te maunga,

Ko Te Wairahi te awa,

Ko Ngāti Rehua, Te Whānau Whero me Ngāti Hine ngā hapu,

Ko Ngātiwai, Ngāpuhi-nui-tonu ngā iwi

Based at Matapouri Bay, in Te Taitokerau, Dorothy is inspired by her local surroundings and whānau.  She grew up mostly in suburban Auckland, co-existing between Māori and Pākeha world-views, and was encouraged by both sides of her whānau to pursue her natural creative talents.

Exposed to Māori artists and writers’ networks in the early eighties, Dorothy trained as a dancer initially performing with Te Kanikani o Te Rangatahi and Taiao Māori Dance Theatre, then later became involved in Playback Community Theatre after moving to Northland.  “I owe a great deal to these formative experiences, they influence the way I see and feel.  More and more I rely on intuition to guide creative directions, feeling for the flow and form, and ideas that want to be expressed in uku (clay)”.

Teacher training lead to an applied arts course that introduced Dorothy to Ngā Kaihanga Uku Māori Clay Workers Collective and Te Ātinga Contemporary Māori Visual Arts committee of Toi Māori Aotearoa.  Māori artists’ networks have been significantly important to her creative pursuits, providing opportunities to exhibit regularly and tour overseas.  In recent years, she has focused her attention towards hapū art projects and iwi strategies for art and cultural development.  

Dorothy is part of the establishment board for Toi Ngāpuhi, an advocacy and support agency working across Te Taitokerau.    


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