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RARANGA RERENGA RAUROPI | Weaving Biodiversity in our own backyards.

Working with community gardens in the Whau community, digital weavings were created depicting the Matauranga Māori concepts of

MARAMATANGA | enlightenment


KAITIAKITANGA | guardianship


3 key aspects in connecting with the whenua (land) and community. Maramatanga is quadcopter footage of the Whau river, Manakitanga is footage of the soil in the forests of the Whau and Kaitiakitanga is footage of the native Whau plant foliage in the ngahere (forest). The work questions how do we take care of the biodiversity in our own backyards. The digital weavings were shared throughout the community with community gardens and local libraries available as digital animations on screen and also take away postcards. 


This work was further developed with Open Homes artist Charles Buenconsejo at their Community Garden in New Lynn and exhibited in their exhibition 'Another World is Possible' 2021. 

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(image: filmstill 'Masdan Mo Ang Kapaligiran | kia matapopore te Taiao'

‘Masdan Mo Ang Kapaligiran | Kia matapopore te Taiao’

collaboration video work of Charles Buenconsejo @charliebrownandproud with Tanya Ruka @fog_moon_studio @region_net_positive from our @openhomesnz exhibition 🍃

‘Kia matapopore te Taiao’

“Our societies are intimately linked with and depend on biodiversity. Biodiversity is essential for people, including through its provision of nutritious food, clean water, medicines, and protection from extreme events.” – United Nations Summit on Biodiversity.

We are our world. From the UN to our local communities, there can be no doubt of the importance of biodiversity; for its own sake as much as ours. But words are hollow without action, and systems of biodiversity destruction are still being maintained by a logic of separation and profit, aka extractive economic growth. In reality, the remaining urban forests are constantly under threat: from Canal Road to developments in Pukekohe and Northland Council’s recent announcement of ‘SNAs’ – the ‘Significant Natural Areas’ created without consultation in yet another move of ‘stealth’ colonisation, claiming to protect while finding another way to steal. To control Māori in their own land, of which they are kaitiaki. And all in the name of conservation. No-one is fooled.

Talk says one thing. Walk says another. This work forewarns of a landscape blocked and covered by building materials. During her stay on the West coast at Muriwai, Tanya was concerned by the growing amount of land being cleared for new housing developments – a concern that echoes in Wellington, where the artist now lives. Here we see the Rimutaka ranges blocked from view by scaffolding and builder’s plastic. The wind provides a glimpse of sunrise and the slow release of potential hope, resonating with the unfolding video imagery in Charle’s neighbouring work, named after the hit song by 70s Filipino band ASIN, ‘Masdan Mo Ang Kapaligiran’, a dedication to the Pasig River translated into English as: watch the environment.

Matapopore: to watch over, careful of, cherish; to prize, value highly
Te Taiao: world, earth, natural world, environment, nature, country

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