June graduated from the Waiariki Polytechnic in Rotorua with a Diploma of Craft Design in 1989. Inspired by her ancestors and their art, she continues the tradition for the future generations of her family. Her work is often interwoven with powerful figures and stories from her tribal histories. She says, “Each time I paint the story of one amazing tupuna (ancestor), another comes to light with yet another fascinating contribution to the histories of the tribe.”
In 1991, she started Pohutu Prints Originals, specializing in Māori design-based screen prints. Later she opened Best of Māori Tourism Limited, a store specializing in Māori-made and Māori-designed products. Most recently she opened Te Raukura-The Red Feather Gallery. She has received numerous awards for her excellence in business and received the Black Pearl Award for her achievement in arts and culture.
She has participated in many contemporary Māori art exhibitions, including “Te Waka Toi: Contemporary Māori Art” (1992-94), “Sisters/Yakkananna/Kahui Mareikura” (2002) in Adelaide, Australia, “Kiwa-Pacific Connections” (2003) in Vancouver, Canada, and “The Big Red” (2004) at the Rotorua Museum.
Excerpt from Manawa—Pacific Heartbeat, 2005.
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