“Commemorating and celebrating Rauru—the meeting house carved by Tene Waitere in 1890s and the turapa panels made by Nanny Bella.
“In the painting the symbolic forms are representing the Māori Deity and relate to the disciplines adhered to by all the practitioners of that era in relation to the artwork, carved and woven, in particular the carved house ‘Rauru’. This carved house has recently been re-dedicated in the Hamburg Museum in Germany. Aunty Bella worked on the turapa (latticed wall panels) for this project alongside the master carver Tene Waitere. There are numerous books written about this famous carver of the Tarawhai tribe and school of carving in the late 1800s – makes for fascinating history especially as Tene Waitere is linked intrinsically with our aunties Bella and Makereti Papakura. Tene carved Makereti’s Whare Tuhoromatakakaa, which she disassembled and took to England for the Great Exhibition in 1911. This little painting is dedicated to the art traditions practiced by my Kuia (grandmothers) as a continuing legacy for the generations following in their prestigious footprints.”
Te Arawa, Tūwharetoa, Tuhourangi-Ngāti Wahiao
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.”
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