This is my first time exhibiting with NZ Art Show, 1-4 June 2018. Looking forward to getting myself out there for people to see my work... nervous too. I'm going to focus on painting the tukutuku panels from Te Whare Rūnanga, Waitangi, I feel these tukutuku panel designs are special, as they don't only represent only one iwi (tribes) they represent all iwi in New Zealand.
- Te Whare Rūnanga (the House of Assembly) is a carved meeting house in traditional form but is a unique expression of its purpose. It stands facing the Treaty House, the two buildings together symbolising the partnership agreed between Māori and the British Crown, on which today’s Aotearoa New Zealand is founded.
The concept was proposed by Māori Member of Parliament for the north, Tau Henare, and Sir Apirana Ngata, then Minister of Maori Affairs, as a Māori contribution to the centenary celebrations. Carving began at Tau Henare’s home community of Motatau in 1934, and the house was opened on 6 February 1940 – 100 years after the first signing of the Treaty of Waitangi.
Meeting houses are symbols of tribal prestige and many embody a tribal ancestor. The head at the roof apex is the ancestor’s head, the ridgepole the backbone, the bargeboards the arms with the lower ends divided to represent fingers. Inside the rafters represent ribs, and the interior is the ancestor’s chest and belly.
Te Whare Rūnanga follows this form, but is not identified with any tribal ancestor. Rather, it represents the unity of Māori throughout Aotearoa New Zealand. This is emphasised by the main carving styles of iwi across the land being brought together – creating a remarkable gallery of Māori art, as well as a spectacular example of a central part of Māori social and cultural life.