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Oyster & Moon
April 1, 2023 @ 10:00 am – April 26, 2023 @ 4:00 pm
Oyster & Moon
1 – 26 April 2023
Opening: Saturday 1 April, 2 – 6pm
In this exhibition, a collective of Te Moana-nui-a-Kiwa creatives reflect on the treasures of their ancestors as they navigate the waters of their future. How their lived experience and place in the world has shaped them and their creative practice.
Oyster Workshop’s collective of creatives is at the forefront of Māori and Pacific design, culture and creativity. Its digital platform Oyster & Moon is inspired by the pearl, a metaphor for resilience and creating beauty from adversity, and the moon, connecting the people of Te Moana-nui-ā-Kiwa to the rhythm of the planet, its phases reminding us that the passing of time is rooted in the cycles of seasons as well as the ebb and flow of the tides.
To compliment this exhibition, the Street Front gallery has been transformed into a unique retail experience filled with everything from contemporary Tongan ngatu and fala by Koloa Jewellery, Natura Aura Weaving Pieces (Piupiu, Fascinators, Maro and Pake), an ethical capsule wardrobe by Papa clothing, the very first Raukura (feather) earrings created with repurposed inner tubing from bicycle tyres by O Te Motu Creations and more.
Photos courtesy of Stacey Edgar.
About Oyster Workshop: Oyster Workshop is a strategic creative consultancy focused on supporting Tāngata o Te Moana-nui-a-Kiwa re-imagine, create and realise a future that has previously been aspirational. Their work fouses on supporting individual practitioners, creative entrepreneurs and culturally-based businesses to build their creative and commercial capability through mentoring, workshops and international programmes. They are also building an eco-system around the collective of practitioners and companies they work with to support them to make sales, gain investment and lift their profiles.
For more info: www.oysterworkshop.co.nz
Meet the Artists/Designers/Makers:
Chani Areaiiti / Art By Aski
Tūhoe, Cook Island Māori – Mangaia
Chani is a mixed media visual artist and designer, and an apprentice in the ancient art of tatau. A self-proclaimed, prolific creator, Chani is constantly designing and making innovative art that reflects her reconnection journey with her Māori and Cook Island Māori heritage.
Ngati Hako Ngati Paaoa, Ngai te Rangi, Ngati Ranginui, Raukawa -Te Kaokaoroa o Patatere
Jeanine is a pioneer of Māori fashion in Aotearoa, New Zealand. Her commitment to sustainable fashion and women’s integration has led her to fight for what matters most: conservation, climate justice and championing indigenous perspectives.
Lissy Cole Designs
Lissy: – Ngāti Hine, Ngāti Kahu
Rudi – Ngaruahine, Te Arawa, Ngāti Pāoa, Waikato ki Tai
Igniting joy and sparking imagination through the medium of neon crochet.
Lissy and Rudi Robinson-Cole, create three dimensional, sculptural forms which fuse traditional Māori whakairo design with crochet to create large scale works that celebrate ngā toi Māori in a way never seen before.
Their work disarms, gently drawing you in to their unique view of the world.
Tracey Gardener / Miss Maia
Ngāti Tūwharetoa ki Kawerau, Ngāti Awa, Tūhoe
Tracey creates futurist designs awakened by ancestry. She reinvents traditional Māori symbolism, marrying it with contemporary materials and the use of bold and unexpected palettes. The result is vibrant art that communicates the powerful and ancient design-language of her tūpuna, in an entirely unique and contemporary way. Tracey is the genius behind Miss Maia.
Fire and Sonia Fonua/ Koloa Jewellery
Fire – Tonga – Tongatapu, ‘Eua. Ha’apai, Vava’u, Uvea
Sonia – Ngati Pakeha
Koloa Jewellery is a new interpretation of these Tongan art forms. It recognises the skill and artistry required to produce the ngatu and fala by showcasing the intricacies of the work in a more intimate format, that of personal adornment. Our koloa can be worn and admired by many, allowing it to be seen and appreciated by a broader audience than before. The pieces of Koloa Jewellery also enable individuals who wear them to carry a small piece of Tongan history. We believe we are helping to preserve these incredible pieces of art so that another generation can enjoy, value and share them, not only Tongans but all people of the Pacific.
Tui Emma Gillies
Tonga – Vava’u
Mother-daughter creative team, Sulieti and Tui are passionate about preserving their family’s ancestral skill through the ritual of tapa making. Taking traditional tapa, they transform the sacred cloth into a vessel to communicate contemporary stories and themes of femininity, protection, and spirituality. They are committed to passing on their wisdom to the next generation to ensure the survival of this ancient and sacred artform.
Amy Lautogo / Infamy Apparel
Samoa – Sale’a’aumua
Infamy Apparel is a revolutionary fashion house dedicated to fat advocacy and inclusivity through fashion. Amy purposefully de-genders and de-colonises high fashion and celebrates the bodies the fashion industry has long marginalised and excluded from popular culture. Her designs are an inspiring, unapologetic celebration of body and gender diversity.
Haley Lowe / O Te Motu Creations
Ngāi Tūhoe, Ngāti Raukawa
Haley creates contemporary talismans which amplify our collective obligation to the planet and each other. Haley draws inspiration from her tūpuna (ancestors), Papatūānuku and the Raukura (feather), a symbol of passive resistance, justice, peace, strength and solidarity for Māori.
Leanne Mulder / Aroha M
Leanne is a contemporary visual artist and maker. Through her brand Aroha M her work represents abstractions of Te Ao Māori, expressed as paintings, sculptural pieces, adornments and homewares. Designed to be passed down through generations, her work uses a range of fluid mediums, colour, markings and symbols from Te Toi Māori. Leanne draws on her whakapapa, specifically her tūpuna (ancestors) who were raranga (weaving) masters.
Keva Rands / Papa Clothing
Fiji – Viti Levu, Samoa – Upolu, Hawaii – Big Island, Cook Island Māori – Penrhyn
The Papa label is committed to inclusivity, thoughtful design and natural fibres to create beautifully made, ethical fashion for all bodies. Papa pieces are instantly recognisable and eminently desirable using palettes and luxurious, ethical fabrics drawn from nature together with classic, relaxed silhouettes.
The inspiration behind the name for the Papa label came from founder/designer Keva Rands’ namesake, Keva Richard Low, who was known to his mokopuna as ‘Papa’. Keva cares deeply about ensuring her label prioritises creating an enduring relationship between her as the maker, the garment and the wearer. Keva’s commitment to people, planet and ancestry makes this a timeless and stylish and inclusive slow fashion brand that is truly of Te Moana-Nui-a-Kiwa.
Anastasia Rickard / Natura Aura
Ngāti Whakaue, Ngāti Porou, Tainui, Te Arawa
Anastasia Rickard is a scientist, entrepreneur, contemporary fashion designer and traditional Māori weaver. Anastasia comes from a long line of raranga (weaving) masters, having been taught by her grandmother, a renowned master raranga. Anastasia’s work is inspired by her diverse heritage and the fusion of nature and science.
Timmy Smith / Pause for Tea
Artisan tea-maker, jeweller, and artist Timmy Smith, creates products and art that honour people, place, and purpose. Inspired by her home on the beautiful Waiheke Island, Timmy wants people to pause, reflect and take time for themselves. Her practice is grounded in Kaitiakitanga, guardianship and protection for the natural world. Timmy imbues the contemporary with an indigenous twist.
Cook Island Māori – Aitutaki, Rarotonga
Visual artist and designer, Shawnee explores what it is to be a diaspora Pacifica person growing up in an urban environment. She takes the unseen and mundane and illuminates the stories that lie hidden in the urban landscape and reflects them back at the viewer in all their rainbow glory. Shining a light on the beauty that is part of every human experience and environment.
Lisa Wipani /Koakoa Design
Te Rarawa, Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Ruanui
Lisa Wipani creates beautifully considered, ethical, handcrafted adornments and jewellery that evoke collective memory and reflect the stories of her history and tūpuna. Each feather, piece of bone, metal, stone, shell thoughtfully and purposefully brought together to fully express a story or memory which Lisa artfully captures in unique pieces of wearable art that connect us to each other, the land and history and to remind us to value these connections. The ethos underpinning Koakoa Design arises from idea that joy is something to be purposeful about. It flourishes alongside manaakitanga and aroha – generosity and caring – both care of others and care of self.