Tiaki 3 April - 28 March 2015
Huhana Smith's new exhibition Tiaki is about kaitiakitanga -- guardianship of our environment. Her paintings, oil on linen, examine how kaitiakitanga is exercised in the specific agricultural and cultural landscapes of her iwi in coastal Horowhenau.
Since 2010 Huhana, who is of Ngāti Tukorehe (affiliated to Ngāti Raukawa) descent, has been leading the research project Manaaki Taha Moana: Enhancing Coastal Ecosystems for Iwi. The project is looking at the complex relationships between land -- land use in agriculture and horticulture -- and waterways with the aim of improving social, economic, environmental and cultural wellbeing. The vibrant green painting MTM specifically references this project and draws attention to the need for collaboration if these issues are to be resolved.
This show, which has grown out of an exhibition at City Gallery Wellington a year ago, brings together range of visual imagery relating to physical, cultural and spiritual interactions with lands and waterways and research into the complexities of water resource enhancement and sustainable environmental management.
"My paintings are a complementary research method, or a personal creative catalyst for practical action research, where the canvas is the base upon which to layer information, research and context. My painting practice helps visualise evidence based, hands-on environmental action for better environmental outcomes."
Huhana has undergraduate qualifications in visual arts, a post graduate diploma in Museum Studies and a PhD in Māori Studies. She has exhibited in New Zealand, Australia and the Pacific and is a former senior curator Māori at Te Papa.
The Kauri Project
Alongside Huhana's exhibition, we have a fundraiser for The Kauri Project - an initiative to use art to raise awareness of kauri dieback disease which is threatening kauri forests in the north. For more information see: http://connectingwithart.com/2015/03/04/the-kauri/