Earles Trust funded exhibition on display

Artist Terri Te Tau explains the thought behind her art in Te Manawa exhibition, Taipo.
WARWICK SMITH/FAIRFAX NZ

Artist Terri Te Tau explains the thought behind her art in Te Manawa exhibition, Taipo.

A trio of Manawatu artists who collaborate in life, art and knowledge have a new exhibition at Te Manawa that acknowledges grievances felt by Maori. 

Taipo is a joint exhibition by Bridget Reweti, Terri Te Tau and Rongomaiaia Te Whaiti, who all gained funding from the Earles Trust last year. They all shared a studio while studying for their Batchelor in Maori Arts and Te Tau said within the shared environment the premise for their exhibition Taipo was born.

"Taipo is quite an obscure reference to a survey tool, when they were first used to layout the land and mark out the territory that was one word that was used by Maori to describe that. So a Taipo is a type of a goblin, a single eye looking out over the landscape and also they attributed that to loss of land."

The three artists have three different takes on that over arching theme with Te Tau creating an installation piece utilising antique spectacles in laid with paua shell, a video piece based around her old family homestead and an installed van with visuals and audio.

"The film on the inside of the van is taken while driving around the streets past the four houses that were raided in the terrorist raids. I wanted to subvert that idea of outside surveillance by looking at aura or hau, which is the spiritual imprint of a person. So, to do that I used this aura reader software that converted it into colour."

Te Whaiti's contribution to the exhibition are three oil on canvas paintings that are based on imagery from the Papawai Marae and an old wharenui that burnt down in the early 1900s. Te Tau said the wharenui was beautifully carved and painted.

Bridget Reweti's piece is an HD moving image installation called Get Up Earlier that aims to give insight into the mundane aspects of supposedly exciting things. Te Tau said working together meant they could do things that they wouldn't have been able to achieve on their own.

"We've been each others main support network for bouncing ideas around and seeing what works and what doesn't."

Taipo runs at Te Manawa until January 10. 

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