WAIKATO’S HOME OF FINE ART
New Zealand b. 1940
Robyn Kahukiwa is a world renowned contemporary female mäori artist from Aotearoa-New Zealand. Her tribal affiliations include, Ngati Porou, Te Aitanga a Hauiti, Ngati Konohi and Te Whanau a Ruataupare. She has an extensive record of exhibitions during the last 25 years. She has been active in celebrating the strength and vitality of mäori ancestry and ideas in her visual presentations. Her work has also involved reflections of mäori women and of motherhood.
Robyn has gained acclaim through exhibitions in New Zealand, the United States, England and Australia. She has also been involved in projects with other indigenous peoples in the U.S. including Hawaii and Australia. Robyn is well known in New Zealand for having written and illustrated a number of childrens books such as Taniwha, Paikea, Kehua, and The Koroua and the Mauri Stone.
Bloodlines, blood ties, the continuity of the human: these are Robyn Kahukiwa's themes. This artist's practice flourishes in the ambivalent spaces between high art and low illustration, between paintings for the nationalist narrative and posters for everyday people, between stark message-making and an ecstatic vision.
Kahukiwa's art sparks and ignites at the point of cross-cultural collision, where historical revisionism generates howls of feedback, theatrical platforms of dissent and media sensationalism. If globalisation delivers an amnesiac culture with an emphasis on the immediate, Kahukiwa's touring exhibition Mauri Ora! - a selection of recent work - is intended to remind us of who we are and where we are. We have other revisionist artists of our bicultural story but, whereas most of them dab nervously or inexpertly at the borders of traditional representations, Kahukiwa boldly revisits the museological in order to displace its colonising authority and replace that with tribal mana
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