Maungarongo (Ron) Te Kawa of Ngāti Porou has been working prolifically in fashion, art, community development and education across Aotearoa New Zealand for decades. Using sewing as a conduit to connect with people, his legendary workshops have given countless participants the confidence to create and express with fabric. His new exhibition
Hīnātore: A Time and Place to Rest, runs 13 March-22 May at Christchurch’s CoCA Centre of Contemporary Art Toi Moroki, The time and place to rest refers to the six days and nights the Matariki stars spend in a phosphorescent world “that exists to rejuvenate and grow the body, mind and spirit”. Te Kawa recreates this special place as a creative haven in the gallery with both his unique quilting style and the sewing studio within the exhibition.
“My whakapapa quilts are an invitation to celebrate the fun, colour and magic of te ao Māori and all those things that fill my heart and heal my mind and spirit. Dance, connection to wairua and nature, whānau, whenua, stories, survival, resilience.”
The CoCA show includes workshops and an artist talk. On Saturday 12 March and Thursday 29 April, Energy Signals: Flag Making with Ron Te Kawa offer free drop-in workshops for making pennant flags from fabric printing and sewing techniques. Participants can drop in anytime 11am-1pm for an activity that takes 30-60 minutes. Children are welcome, but must be accompanied by an adult.
On 22 May, during the final weekend of the exhibition, the artist will demonstrate his sewing and quilt making skills and kōrero with curator Zoe Black on his unique quilting style, how his practice has developed from fashion to education and how Hīnātore: A Time and Place to Rest became a central idea in the exhibition’s kaupapa. Ron will be working in the gallery from 11am-2pm, with the talk scheduled for 12pm.
Hīnātore: A Time and Place to Rest is part of a programme partnership with Auckland public gallery Objectspace which sees the organisations work together to develop and present exhibitions throughout 2021. The workshop programme is in partnership with Bernina.