14 October – 20 November 2023
Whakairoiro – Emulating the worm.
Whakairo encompasses the art of carving within Te Ao Māori. Its origins can be traced back to Tangaroa, the deity of the sea, and the tale of Ruatepupuke. Interestingly, its name is derived from that of the worm. Depending on the source, it may be referred to as a worm, maggot, or bug, but its essence lies in consuming wood. In another narrative, it represents a maggot that feeds on flesh. Through this process, it leaves behind intricate patterns, etching its trails within wood, cartilage, or other materials. Carvers seek to replicate this natural process in order to discover the ancestral forms hidden within wood, stone, or bone.
On the other hand, Whakapī embodies the spirit of the bee.
Following the naming convention of its predecessor, Whakapī instead considers the bee. Just as bees construct their hives by layering one upon another, this artistic practice embraces the concept of building compositions through additive processes. While drawing inspiration from natural phenomena observed in the insect world, it also extends its application to those who create through digital means. Across a wide range of creative software, the fundamental principle remains the same: compositions are assembled in layers, gradually forming a cohesive whole.
When our ancestors journeyed from Hawaiiki, they brought numerous customs and traditions. However, certain elements were left behind, like aute (our form of tapa), due to the challenges posed by the new environment. In response, new practices and visual languages were invented, reflecting innovation and adaptation to the unfamiliar surroundings. Like our ancestors, the works in Whakairoiro adhere to our customary conventions while adapting to our contemporary environment. Whakairoiro asserts that our most crucial tradition… is the tradition of innovation.