The Year 3 NZ/Pacific Art & Design History class enjoyed a joint guest lecture by visual artist and poet Tracey Tawhiao and artist George Nuku who is visiting from the UK where he is now based.
Tracey and George were both instrumental in the exhibition Pasifika Styles at University of Cambridge Museum of Art and Anthropology in England and have exhibited numerous times in museums across Europe. Tawhiao's practice involves museum interventions, installation, painting, film and photography. Both have exhibited extensively in exhibitions in Paris, London, Cambridge, New York, and Washington DC, with Tawhiao also exhibiting in Mexico City in the exhibition Tiaho: Contemporary Photography from Oceania, and in Sydney at The Niu Warrior exhibition recently.
Tracey Tawhiao is a writer, poet, trained lawyer and passionate voice on the topic of the machine versus nature. She is also a painter and visual artist. This voice is central to her practice in whatever form she chooses for expression. Tawhiao is Ngai Te Rangi from Matakana Island and Tuwharetoa, Taumaranui as well as Whakatohea. It was when she spent considerable time on the island that she started her newspaper paintings that now cover the walls of many people's homes. “These paintings find the news beyond the newspaper” (Tawhiao, 2012).
George Nuku is a highly regarded Maori artist working in stone, bone, wood, shell, polystyrene and perspex. His works range from delicate jade and pearl amulets, stone sculptures of life-size figures through to two story high Polynesian demigods and Maori cultural heroes. He carries the traditions of his people handed down for thousands of years in art forms that expand life and enhance survival.