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Te Whare Pora: a sacred space

31 March - 21 July

Te Whare Pora: a sacred space presents works by artist Maungarongo (Ron) Te Kawa of Ngāti Porou (Aotearoa New Zealand) from the past three years, alongside three new quilts reflecting the core pou (pillars) of his practice: Te Whare Pora, the sacred zone of making; Hineteiwaiwa, the guiding atua (deity) for creativity; and Waipunarangi, the source of ancestral guidance and inspiration.

Over two decades, Te Kawa’s distinctive quilting style has explored mātauranga Māori (knowledge) and his whakapapa (genealogy) through bold colour and a tactile application of materials. Breaking the rules of traditional quilt construction, many types of fabric are masterfully stitched together to illustrate scenes from his imagination, his history and the stories of the people influential to his life.

Te Whare Pora: a sacred space illustrates critical ideas within te ao Māori (the Māori world) through Te Kawa’s unique energy and aroha (love) and the utterly democratic way in which he approaches creating. He offers these works in celebration of Indigenous ways of being, seeing and doing. We hope this exhibition is an opportunity for us to share and connect.

Maungarongo Te Kawa (Ngāti Porou) has been working prolifically in fashion, art, community and education in Aotearoa New Zealand for the past three decades. Using sewing as a conduit to connect with people, he expertly guides workshop participants to confidently create with fabric and express their genealogy through sewing.

Te Kawa has exhibited throughout Aotearoa, including solo exhibitions in 2021 at Centre of Contemporary Art Toi Moroki and Objectspace, and in 2020 at Te Kōputu a te whanga a Toi, Whakatāne.

This exhibition is curated by Zoe Black (Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Hine, Pākehā) with exhibition design by Turumeke Harrington (Kāi Tahu, Rangitāne, Ngāti Toa Rangatira).

Te Whare Pora: a sacred space is supported by Norwegian Crafts and Creative New Zealand and was developed by Objectspace.


Image: Maungarongo Te Kawa, Hineteiwaiwa, 2023. Photo: Seb Charles


31 March
21 July
Event Category:


Te Manawa Museum
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Te Manawa Museum
326 Main St
Palmerston North, Manawatū 4410 New Zealand
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