Indigenous | Art

Māori art showcased on a global platform at art fair

Visitors are being welcomed to the Aotearoa Art Fair with an arresting collaborative work by kaiwhatu Shiree Reihana and carver Anton Forde.

Comprising six of Forde’s pou cloaked in Reihana’s contemporary kākahu, installed in a chevron formation, this work is beckoning visitors to the art fair with a message of welcome, protection and profound connection to whenua and moana.

Forde and Reihana are inviting all those who attend the fair to contemplate their place in the vastness of nature and time.

To acknowledge her late father, Huriwaka Reihana, Shiree wove and cloaked Anton Forde’s pou at her home in kākahu she had woven for her whānau. Shiree’s kākahu elevates the mana of Forde’s Pou to a different level, bringing a message of connection.

The Aotearoa Art Fair was opened on Thursday at Auckland’s Viaduct Events Centre, showcasing contemporary artworks from New Zealand, Australia, and the Pacific region. This event brings together prominent galleries from both New Zealand and Australia to exhibit works by emerging and established artists.

It is the first fair under new ownership by Art Assembly, the organiser of international art fairs including Sydney Contemporary, Art SG, Taipei Dangdai, and Tokyo Gendai.

Nigel Borell, the curator of the Māori space, Te Manawa, emphasises the opportunity to showcase Māori art on a global platform, leveraging Art Assembly’s international expertise and extensive network.

“Te Manawa, a new initiative in collaboration with Taumata Toi ā-Iwi, aims to promote Māori artistry,” Borell says.

“With the new owners, it’s also an amazing time for a bit of a reset for the art fair. A new venue, new owners, and new vision but the same dynamic and rich artists and culture.”

Attendees can anticipate engaging in the Artist Talk series, where they can gain intimate insights into the stories behind the exhibited artworks. These talks, held at gallery booths, offer a unique opportunity for attendees to connect with the artists and deepen their understanding of their creative processes

The ar fair runs from April 18 – 21 April.