Te Ara i Whiti Artist Feature – Ariki

Taupuruariki (Ariki) Whakataka Brightwell

Rongowhakaata, Te Ara

Ariki Brightwell is a pop-culture indigenous artist, specializing in mural and digital works. She creates public works that represent the whakapapa and history of the land. As a 27th generation artist, like her father and those before him, her mission is to share their stories to the world through art and oral storytelling to a high standard that is worthy of her culture and tīpuna.

Her recent works include a large mural of Kupe in Owhiro Bay, Te Whanganui a Tara supported by the Creative New Zealand Toi Tipu Toi Rea Fund (2020), Te Kura Māori o Porirua mural depicting Ngāti Toa Kaitiaki for the kura’s 20th anniversary celebrations (2021), a collaboration with the Wellington City Council on digital and physical artworks depicting the stories of the land (2021), Digital artworks for Te Atiawa Taranaki Whānui telling the stories of mana whenua to schools in the Wellington Region (2017/2020), set design for Pourangahua/Pourakahua by Taki Rua Productions (2021), Toi Māori digital artwork for Rongowhakaata Iwi Trust wānanga and promotions (2019/2021).

Te Ara i Whiti

Ariki is one of our twelve exhibiting artists for Te Ara i Whiti 2021.

For Te Ara i Whiti, Ariki brings the stories of her hometown Tūranganui a Kiwa. Depicting the legacy of Rongowhaakata’s art lineage through her whakapapa and pop culture influences of the 21st
century. She is creating a sculptural piece depicting Tumoremore, the Taniwha of our river Matawai/Taruheru and Marikihau of Horouta Waka who guides the kanae to our shores and streams
between Hawaiki and Aotearoa. Ariki’s work celebrates mana whenua, Rongowhakaata’s significant art forms and our roots of Hawaiki Nui.