COURTENAY PLACE LIGHTBOX EXHIBITION
28th May - 18th September 2022
Documentation of the visual journey over 8 months will be recorded.
Whanaungatanga (building family ties & relationships):
Asking the question: How are we?
Conversations with local community members, sharing stories and history.
The purpose is to establish ties within the community prior to installation of the digital weavings.
Creating 16 digital weavings with imagery sourced from the Te Aro community and landscape:
/ 8 will follow the Whakapapa (genealogy) of Te Ao the Light
// 8 will follow the Whakapapa (genealogy) of Te Pō the dark.
/// WHAKAPAPA TE PŌ | TE AO \\\
1. Te AO NUI
(the great light)
2. Te AO ROA
(the long light)
3. Te AO PAPAKINA
(the light that can be felt)
4. Te AO KITUA
(the light beyond)
5. Te AO KIROTO
(the light within)
6. Te AO TAWHITO
(the ancient light)
7. Te AO RŪRŪ
(the sheltered light)
8. Te AO ĀIO
(the calm light)
1. Te PŌ NUI
(the great darkness)
2. Te PŌ ROA
(the long darkness)
3. Te PŌ PAPAKINA
(the darkness that can be felt)
4. Te PŌ KITUA
(the darkness beyond)
5. Te PŌ KIROTO
(the darkness within)
6. Te PŌ TAWHITO
(the ancient darkness)
7. Te PŌ RŪRŪ
(the sheltered darkness)
8. Te PÕ ĀIO
(the calm darkness)
ABOUT WHAKAPAPA TE PŌ | TE AO
/// Ko au te whenua, te whenua ko au
How do we protect and enhance the mauri within an urban environment? asks Te Whanganui-a-Tara based artist Tanya Te Miringa Te Rorarangi Ruka in the Courtenay Place light box exhibition for Matariki 2022.
Whakapapa Te Pō Te Ao turns the light boxes into a series of digitally woven pou whenua which are derived from the natural phenomena of Te Aro and the local environment.
“Acknowledging the whenua and the awa above and below the city streets. Working with the knowledge of the histories of the land, and walking back through time with each foot fall on the cement.
Past, present and future are here coexisting within the whenua, our tupuna are the soil and the water. They hold our collective memory, the good and the bad, the light and the dark. Our karakia, our voices, our sounds speak to them on a daily basis. We are alive because of them, by acknowledging this truth we enhance the mauri and we build our relationships with the natural world even within an urban environment.”
The exhibition responds to Matariki as a time to recount the past seasons and set new plans for the coming year. Guided by the Maramataka, Māori lunar calendar, Ruka filmed the area surrounding the light boxes once a month during 2021.
The focus of the film work was to capture the natural elements as they are now.
How do we experience the three major awa river sources that are below the city streets?
How do we access them?
Once an abundant source of kai now flowing below the city streets within cement pipes.
Do we look to the light through the trees that still remain on the site, their root systems in constant communication with the awa below.
Is it the exposed soil, site of Te Aro Pā down within the middens?
If you look closely you will see a pipi shell in some of the digital weavings.
Can we follow the awa above ground?
Waitangi / Kūmutoto // and Waimapihi /// acknowledging their existence as we walk to the outlets where they silently meet the sea.
Ruka’s video footage has been translated into digital weavings for the light boxes with one side of the light box images referencing Te Whakapapa o Te Pō and the other, Te Whakapapa o Te Ao.
Together, the whakapapa of light and dark capture a story of time unfolding in Courtenay Place from a kaupapa Māori perspective.
The colour sequence of the digital weavings is based on the rainbow, the colour of light, referencing Te Ao Marama our world of life and acknowledging the rainbow’s meaning of importance to the people and community of Te Aro.
In honouring our past we strengthen our future..
Manāki whenua / Manāki tangata // Haere whakamua ///