Paerau graduated with a Diploma in Craft Design-Māori in 1990 from Waiariki Polytechnic in Rotorua. She currently tutors in ceramics at Te Puna Toi, a Māori visual arts program of Te Wananga o Aotearoa in Palmerston North. She is a member of Nga Kaihanga Uku, a national Māori clayworkers’ group; Kauwae, a Māori female artists’ group, and Nga Wahine Kai Whakairo, a national Māori women’s carving group.
Paerau’s work portrays Māori women as strong, enduring and as diverse as the carved female forms within the whare whakairo (carved house). She uses hand-building techniques to create her figurative forms and includes woven muka (flax fibres) and raranga (weaving) in her vessel forms.
Her work has been exhibited in “Home Made Home” (1991) at the City Gallery Wellington, “Kurawaka” (1994) at the Dowse Art Museum, and “Treasures of the Underworld” at the Expo 92 exhibition in Seville, Spain. Other exhibitions include “Sisters/Yakkananna/Kahui Mareikura” (2002) in Adelaide, Australia, and “Kiwa-Pacific Connections” (2003) in Vancouver, Canada.
Excerpt from Manawa—Pacific Heartbeat, 2005.
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