Te Ara i Whiti Artist Feature – Tāwera

Tāwera Tahuri

Ngā Ariki Kaipūtahi, Whakatōhea, Ngāti Uenuku, Tūwharetoa

Tāwera Tahuri is a mixed media artist covering a wide range of mediums and techniques. Influenced by the work of artist’s such as Basquiat, Klee, Picasso, Kura Te Waru Rewiri and Emere Karaka, she has produced a prolific amount of work throughout her artistic career. She is a mother of six children grandmother of four, and is actively involved in her community as an artist, activist, teacher, and performer.

Her seven-piece mixed media sculptural installation, exhibited in Italy, entitled “Tamanui. Seven Generations” is inspired by her iwi and the recent revival her people have experienced. Their Treaty Of Waitangi land Claim WAI 507 has been an integral part of this revitalization and this has been the basis of her recent bodies of work.

The Seventh Generation principle is an important component of the people of Tamanui (the eponymous ancestor of Ngā Ariki Kaipūtahi) as it serves not only as a reminder of the wrongs of the past but also the hopes and aspirations of the future seven generations. Her involvement as an exhibiting artist in the Florence Biennale, Italy has opened doors for Tāwera who now has an active exhibition calendar nationally and internationally.

Tāwera is currently studying for a PhD in Indigenous Studies with Te Whare Wānanga O Awanuiarangi. She also holds a BA from Toihoukura and MMVA from Massey University, NZ.

Te Ara i Whiti

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

Tāwera has made a seven piece sculptural installation as a continuation of her recent series Kahukura. Tāwera presents Taku Kurī. This work combines the Seventh Generation principle, the rainbow colour theme referencing her mum and her people of Ngāti Uenuku, the important relationship that Tairāwhiti Māori hold with kurī – Te kurī a Whena, Te kurī a Pāoa, and Te kurī a Tūtekohi – her personal relationship with whānau kurī, Chico, Missy, Candy – and the significance of Skok Dog and her indigenous links to the Skokomish Nation.