A warm welcome to B.212, the winter edition of Te Puna o Waiwhetū Christchurch Art Gallery’s Bulletin. As Matariki reappears in our night sky in July, here in Ōtautahi we will celebrate the arrival of Te Rā, the only customary woven Māori sail known to exist. Building on the success of our exhibition Te Puna Waiora: The Distinguished Weavers of Te Kāhui Whiritoi in 2021, it is an incredible privilege for us to share one of Aotearoa New Zealand’s most significant taonga with our audiences.
Whenua is a Portal
Manawa mai tēnei i Ahuone mai
Manawa mai tēnei i whenuatia
Manawa mai tēnei he kapunga oneone
Tēnei te mauri
E whakaata mai nei e
Verses and Visions of Ship Nails and Tail Feathers
The ways that we curate history can make all the difference in the ways we value each other now. As I round the corner on a decade spent working in heritage and curatorial collection management, my beloved museum wrapped in its gothic stone cloak is under decant. It seems the tide is always high, and my mind needs to revel in the freedom of writing in a foreign tongue about that which matters to me. So here is a collection of verses and visions, data and drama about art and artefacts intended to counter what I would describe as the lingering monocular view of histories and heritage material.
The More we Learn, The Less We Know
In July 2023 Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetū welcomes Te Rā. This taonga from the collection of the British Museum will be on public display in Ōtautahi for three months before travelling to Auckland Museum and then returning to London. The homecoming of this taonga is a deeply significant moment. In March, pouarataki curator Māori Chloe Cull, was joined by Ranui Ngarimu ONZM (Ngāi Tahu, Kāti Māmoe, Ngāti Mutunga) and Dr Catherine Smith, two members of the research group that has led the project to bring Te Rā to Aotearoa, to talk about what this homecoming means to them.