Regional | Moko Kauae

Tāmoko artist searching for subjects for indigenous arts exhibition

Julie Paama Pengelly is the chair of Te Tuhi Mareikura Trust, a kaupapa focused on leading Māori artists of the Tauranga Moana region and bringing audiences who are dedicated to experience, explore and develop a unique artistic art legacy to Tauranga Moana.

Paama Pengelly is also the owner of Art & Body Creative Tāmoko studio, based in Mount Maunganui where she is on the search for wahine Māori who wish to be part of a project to receive significant body tā moko.

She has been an artist for more than 40 years, trained in Māori arts and crafts, practising Māori toi and has been creating moko for whānau for 32 years strong.

She says she has lost count on how many people or whānau she has gifted with tāmoko and is excited to continue on her mahi through a new kaupapa she is focusing on this year.

“I have a particular kaupapa next year where I've been asked to provide works for an exhibition in Vancouver, where a friend of mine, who's a tattooist, a traditional indigenous first nation tattooist, has curated an exhibition of eight artists from all around the world”.

“So I thought, it's been a while and I need some fresh work, scaled up on what I’ve been working on, so I’m hoping I can scope larger real estate, to do some creative pieces, in preparation for that show.”

Significant time needed

She says her next six months will be full on as she commits to this kaupapa, but is excited to be able to produce her mahi toi, for a worldwide indigenous kaupapa in Vancouver next year.

“The person who is to receive the significant tā moko a tinana (Māori traditional tattoo) must be prepared to put aside significant time to get this done as the next six months for them will also be full on, as there is quite a bit of time commitment and obviously real estate commitment. Ideally, I would want to be able to collaborate to do some kind of challenging developmental work”.

For whānau wanting to go ahead with an experience like this, applications are open and will close in a month's time. Mahi toi, tā moko will commence later on in the year.

“Social media is a really weird thing. People will just say ‘Yeah, I'm keen’ and I say ‘You have to do a little bit more than that, treat it a bit like a job interview because it's a big commitment so I want to know that you're committed to it and also that you've done a bit of work to show that you should be on it”.

Interested people can email her here.