Whatu Marama

Who am I?
Where am I from?
What will my taonga tuku iho be?
Who am I?
Where am I from?
What will my taonga tuku iho be?

Whatu Marama is a collaborative installation bringing together the incredible design work of taitamariki and community groups within the area of Taumarere in the east and Hokianga in the west.

Displayed on Te Tou Rangatira at Te Tii Marae, mahi toi from over 750+ contributors has been woven together to construct a series of keokeonui, referencing different elements in Te Taiao.

Niho whatu (woven forms) and Unaunahi Ta (stamped shapes) were designed and created by taitamariki featuring personal tohu that reflect their understanding of kaitiakitanga and the critical importance of how we take care of Te Taiao.
Puhi moanaariki, Puhi kaiariki, Puhi taniwharau
Taitamariki Participant
The taitamariki considered what their mark would be - a tohu that represents themselves and their relationship to Te Taiao - what impact did they want to have and what they hope to protect.

Like their tupuna before them, they hope this mark will signify their commitment and contribution to their whanau, hapu, iwi and Te Taiao. You are invited to consider these patai for yourself.
This installation was inspired by Toi Te Rito Maihi's research of Maori textiles and patterns and her understanding of how these patterns can convey immense matauranga Maori. Toi Te Rito Maihi, was an extraordinary writer, a poet, a painter, a printmaker, and weaver.
Whatever is created is merely an indication of an enormously complex, multi-level, multi-dimensional, 'jig-saw puzzle' in my mind. And the incredibly joyous excitement is, that that 'jig-saw' stretches from here to infinity! As long as I live (and perhaps beyond) I can be part of this wondrous adventure of discovery. Every waking hour is an opportunity!
Toi Te Rito Maihi
Along with her many talents, Toi was a gifted teacher, story teller and visionary whom influenced so many and taught so many throughout her life. Her mahi toi has influenced this kaupapa not just through the forms and colours used but also with the celebration of the multiple layers of culture, heritage, tangata whenua and Te Taiao.
Kaunuku services have been engaged by ĀKAU to deliver curatorial assistance for Whatu Marama. The project team from Kaunuku are Tina Pihema, Jasmine Te Hira and Zoe Black.

Kaunuku is a design studio specialising in creative project management to support mahi toi (arts) from development to delivery for whānau, hapū and iwi kaupapa. We engage with ngā hapori whānui (wider communities) through a range of creative projects and programmes to ensure the value of Indigenous creative practices is enhanced and maintained.

This is the first time mahi toi by taitamariki has been placed at Te Tou Rangatira, amplifying their voices and ensuring they are present here. We hope you will see the harikoa and wawata in their creativity, and the urgency they have to protect Te Taiao.

Whatu Marama includes contributions from:

Ngā Ringatoi
Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Hokianga
Hokianga ki te Tonga Hapori
Te Hikutu Hāpu Whanau
Rawene School
Te Kōhanga Reo o Pou Kara Ariki Rawene
Rawene Hapori
Te Kura ā Iwi o Ōmanaia
Te Kōhanga Reo o Whirinaki
Te Whare Awhina Ngati Tautahi
Kaikohe West School
Te Puna Reo o Manga Tangaroa
Nga Puawai o Kaikohekohe
Te Kōhanga Reo o Ngā Toa Iwi Whenua
Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Kaikohe
Hiwa-i-te-Rangi Teen Parent Unit
Kaikohe Hapori
Ōhaeawai Primary School
Te Rangi Aniwaniwa
Ngāti Kawa, Ngāti Rahiri
& Te Matarahurahu Whānau

Ngā Kaihoahoa
Aka Whiro
Indi-GeniUS Mind(s)

Ngā Kaitautoko
Te Tou Rangatira Pou
Ministry of Education
Foundation North
Te Tii Marae, Waitangi