Ngāpuhi, Kāti Māmoe, Kai Tahu, Waitaha
Isaac has diverse interests across te ao Māori, with a passion for reconnecting taonga to their people, places, and communities. He works as a curator at Te Papa Tongarewa – Museum of New Zealand by day, but in his spare time he is an active practitioner of both Māori weaving and carving, with a special interest in the revival and documentation of traditional knowledges, techniques, and their practice. As a child, Isaac was privileged to learn weaving at the feet of his koro, and as an adult he has been taught and mentored by a wide range of teachers and life experiences that have enabled him to make the taonga he creates today.
Papaihoretanga is an expression of my move home, a new job, a pandemic, a tribute to the tūpuna korowai I’m privileged enough to work with, the tūpuna with whom I share whakapapa that have left paths for me to follow, and everything I have learned in my weaving so far.
Name: Papaihoretanga ki ngā tūpuna
Medium: Muka (New Zealand flax fibre), Kōtare (Kingfisher) feathers, synthetic dye
Papaihoretanga ki ngā tūpuna or “In dedication of the ancestors” is a korowai – a form of kākahu or Māori cloak – woven in the style and form common in the late 19th century. It is currently the only known modern korowai known to have been woven in this style in nearly a century. Papaihoretanga was completed over one year and four months.
The representation of land, place and identity is reflected in the adornment of kākahu, which are tangible representations of the land and environment people come from.
Papaihoretanga is a physical manifestation of Isaacs return to Aotearoa, and his adaptation and reconnection to the Wellington region. The muka, or flax fibre was hand gathered primarily from all over Wellington, but also from all over the country including Maketu, Tairawhiti, Murihiku, and Hongoeka; representing a connection to the environment and the journey of exploration guided by whānau and friends, old and new.
Ngāti Ruanui, Ngāti Porou, Te Aitanga a mahaki, Rongowhakaata, Ngāpuhi
I am a Multidisciplinary Artist originally from Turanganui-a-kiwa and have spent the last 20 years residing in Te Whanganui-a-tara. I have always appreciated the vibrant, creative energy present in Pōneke, and can credit much of who I am as an Artist to this beautiful city.
I am honoured to be curating the Visual Arts programme this year for Kia Mau Festival, 6 – 17 June. My intention is to exhibit tangata whenua and tangata moana Artists, who I admire and who have a strong connection to Pōneke, to showcase their mahi toi within the city landscape we love and are inspired by. Pōneke will be humming during the Kia Mau Festival, with emerging and established Artists working in many different Artforms presented in participating locations around the city.
Advocating the energy we as Artists give back to this space and time. Kia Mau Festival is a special event where we as indigenous Artists of all disciplines can come together and celebrate each other.