Towards past and future 

9 SepCollections / Exhibitions

A new exhibition now open at the Te Manawa Art Gallery celebrates the enduring importance of Māori visual arts education in Te Papaioea.

“Toioho XXV – Ki Mua, Ki Muri” marks the twenty-fifth year of Toioho ki Āpiti, the Bachelor of Māori Visual Arts programme at Massey University. Every year, students and staff present their work at Te Manawa in the “Matatau” exhibition. In 2015 the massive “Toioho XX” occupied three of the Art Gallery’s five spaces. Now this latest exhibition trades space for time, in a display that will swap artists in and out until March.

From now through to late November, staff take centre stage. The signature red polished metal of Israel Birch, the videography of Rachel Rakena and the infinite neon wordscapes of Robert Jahnke join other innovative and thought-provoking works in Gallery 1. Professor Jahnke is the founder of Toioho ki Āpiti and has had his own solo shows at Te Manawa.

From November, Gallery 1 will feature work by post-graduate students, while in nearby Gallery 3 pieces by undergraduates will be collected.

The exhibition is complemented by a display in Gallery 2 of works from the Te Manawa collection. Usually the racks there present a diversity of art, but for the duration of “Toioho XXV” they’ll commemorate local Māori artist John Bevan Ford, who died 15 years ago this month. Some of Ford’s sculptures have been added to the gallery in addition to his intricate pen-on-paper works.

“Ki mua, ki muri” means “to the past, to the future”, an ideal title for an exhibition that is both a retrospective and a survey of current trends in Māori art. The 2015 exhibition featured works of breathtaking imagination, daring and technical accomplishment, and “Toioho XXV” will be no different.

Entry to the Art Gallery is free of charge.