Rohe: Waikato

Tribal Affiliations: Te Rarawa, Tūwharetoa. Fiji

From an early child I was always aware of social issues that impacted our people and land. Mum used to cart me off to a lot of her protests in the 80's and would give the kids chalk and paint that would allow us to draw pictures that related to the kaupapa of the day. More often or not it would be of Māui, Tamanui te rā, ika, manu, and Papatūānuku. This led to a strong interest in drawing and painting which shaped my cognitive skills helping my career in the arts. I studied at Te Wānanga o Aotearoa - Māori pacific Arts programme, went to WINTEC finishing up with a masters of Fine Arts at Whitecliffe. I have spent most my career managing a very strong Māori art collection and exhibiting with my community.

To be asked to serve on Te Atinga Committee was a great honour knowing the strong legacy and whakapapa of our maori visual arts history starting with Ngā Puna Waihanga. I thank them for the work they did and for the opportunity to be a kaitiaki of this space.

My intention on the committee is to be able to provide opportunities for Māori visual artists to connect with other makers across the moana, bridge isolation and build economic strength around the arts. I believe that as visual artists we have a very important role to play in our communities that we are the game changers , challengers , stimulators and kaitaiki of the spaces we occupy.

I look forward to growing old together as a committee ..LOL and preparing the whare until the next crop is appointed.

Until then Koutou mā - ngā ringa Toi - I look forward to the work ahead with you.


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