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Carving strong cultural links

Friday June 12, 2015 Written by Published in Local
Carvers will create a commemorative set of works to refl ect and celebrate the relationship between Aotearoa and the Kuki Airani emphasising the strong cultural links between the two nations. Carvers will create a commemorative set of works to refl ect and celebrate the relationship between Aotearoa and the Kuki Airani emphasising the strong cultural links between the two nations.

News of the week-long carving and weaving exhibition, set to start on Monday June 15 and run to Friday June 20, has been met with great enthusiasm by local schools in Rarotonga. 

Motone Productions’ schools programme coordinator Nancy Matenga says the response has been really positive, with schools ‘over the moon’ that something like this is available for students.  

Many have already registered to come down and view the carving and weaving on display in the heart of Avarua throughout the week-long programme. 

Taurua – A Matariki Māori Art Exhibition will see Cook Islands and New Zealand carvers and weavers come together for a week-long programme of creative artistic display.  

This will include workshops for the public in the township of Avarua.  

The artwork produced will form a commemorative set of works.

Carvers and weavers from the New Zealand Māori Arts and Crafts Institute (NZMACI), based in Rotorua, will fly to the Cook Islands to participate in the exhibition, thanks to the generous support of Air New Zealand.  

They will join local carvers Stormy Kara, Raniera Ellsion, and Island Craft carvers to create a commemorative set of works to reflect and celebrate the relationship, emphasising the strong cultural links between New Zealand and the Cook Islands.  

Weavers from the Rarotonga community will form weaving circles at the event with two New Zealand Māori weavers.

“We encourage everyone to come and enjoy the exhibition,” says New Zealand High Commissioner Nick Hurley.

“It will be a genuine bicultural experience, showcasing the best of contemporary Māori art.  “And what could be a better way to celebrate the partnership between our two countries than at Matariki, under the very stars that guided the first settlers from here to Aotearoa/New Zealand?” 

Air New Zealand is proud to support this event that symbolises the close relationship between the Cook Islands and New Zealand – a relationship that the airline has been part of for over 40 years. 

Local companies have also come on board to support the unique event, with Raro Expo providing site infrastructure, Baker Tree Services supplying the artists’ wood, Island Car and Bike Hire providing van and car hire, Telecom Cook Islands supplying communications, Prime Foods providing groceries for the group and The Edgewater Resort and Spa providing accommodation for the duration of their stay. Motone Productions are producing the event and also want to acknowledge support from the Aotearoa Society and CITTI and Te Aponga Uira.

During lunchtime there will also be live entertainment from noon to 1pm, featuring local and international musicians. 

This has been made possible with the support of the Cook Islands 50th Anniversary celebrations committee.   

Come and see the live exhibition and enjoy Matariki with the Artists on site held on the Main Road in Avarua opposite Tourism and the ANZ Bank from June 15-20. 

For more information on ‘Taurua – A Matariki Māori Art Exhibition’ contact Glenda Tuaine of Motone Productions 55885) or Gloria Rarere at the New Zealand High Commission 00682 22201 ext 25.  

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