Mahara Gallery in Waikanae will be hosting the opening of its 2017 Matariki exhibition Matariki Dawn on Saturday June 10 starting at 4pm.
Matariki Dawn, is an installation by Michel Tuffery and Yvonne de Mille. Both artists are inspired by the traditional use of Manu Aute and Manu Tukutuku kites during Matariki. Matariki Dawn installation references the excitement of the first sightings of the Matariki stars at dawn – the signal that the new year is about to begin.
Manu Aute is a generic name for Māori kites, but it specifically refers to those covered with the bark of the aute (paper mulberry) tree, which these ones by Michel Tuffery are. Manu Aute were made in a variety of forms, but tended to be in the shape of a bird, a form which is found across the Pacific including Tahiti, Rarotonga and Kiribati.
For Michel Tuffery, kites are a metaphor for renewal. The original Manu Aute could be considered as being the old cellphone network between earth and sky. Kites were used for communication, both as a spiritual connection with ancestors, and as a messenger between Pā sites in different locations.
Yvonne de Mille loves the associations between the magic and wonderment of light and fire and that Matariki is specific to Aotearoa, her kite like structures embody that connection between earth, sky and stars and reflect the energy and excitement of celebration.
This exhibition runs 11 June to July 30, 2017.