In this artwork, Haeata by Ngataiharuru Taepa (Te Atiawa, Te Arawa), the artist uses kōwhaiwhai to speak of the transformation of Te Ao Pō to Te Ao Mārama, the world of darkness into the world of enlightenment. 

Kōwhaiwhai itself is a form of writing and the poem on the label – written by Che Wilson (Ngāti Rangi, Whanganui Nui Tonu, Ngā Rauru, Ngāti Apa, Tūwharetoa) in response to Haeata – puts these two creative works in conversation with each other.

Kōrero with the artist
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Kōrero with the artist

This 12-panel kōwhaiwhai artwork by renowned artist Ngataiharuru Taepa is new to Māori Court. In this blog, we kōrero with Prof Taepa about growing up amongst artists, kōwhaiwhai as language, and having work on the walls of a space filled with the incredible work of ancestors.

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Artist Ngataiharuru Taepa with his work Haeata prior to installation.

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