TE AURERE

2 January 2023

Nocturn, day after the storm, Te Aurere, south end, Tokerau Beach, Muri Whenua 7 January 2023
© Rangihīroa Panoho, 2019-2023. No part of this document (text or imagery) is free to be copied, plagiarised or shared for publication or for uses neither intended nor agreed on by the author without his express permission. Details for writing to the author are as follows: blueskypanoho@icloud.com

What is this thing that wakens sleep?

It is the rain

pummelling the surface of my heart

It is the click clacking of mānuka and bracken

this quarry rock road cuts through

It is the thundering of Neptune

one upping the TANGI

of the lone karoro

over Tokerau

Continue reading “TE AURERE”

M a C X: Te Kōpua ‘the deep’

A discussion regarding recent participation in Curator Māori recruitment, Toi o Tāmaki 2021

© Rangihīroa Panoho, 2020-2022. No part of this document (text or imagery) is free to be copied, plagiarised or shared for publication or for uses neither intended nor agreed on by the author without his express permission. The opinions expressed are those of Dr Panoho and not those of former employers or industry colleagues. Details for writing to the author are as follows: blueskypanoho@icloud.com       

‘Te Kōpua “the deep”, have you ever been at a point of crisis in your life where you have been brought to the edge…’


2021 for me has involved high highs and some lows lows. Life eh. The latter has involved enduring a 7 month long wait with a recruitment process for Curator Māori involving the Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki. I was shortlisted for the position back in March 22, went through their interview process ‘in good faith’ as the person in charge described it. Three referees were requested, 5 of my listed referees were actually approached with long detailed conversations reported back to me.


There was a person chosen unanimously by the panel and then…nothing for 3 weeks. Then on April 15, after requests for information I was told the gallery was taking ‘a pause’ in the recruitment process. On May 3 I sent a link to the chair of the search panel about keeping candidates engaged during recruitment processes. Obviously I was referring to myself. I was given the impression I should hang in there, ‘in good faith’. Those were the words I remember being used several times along with comments about what benefits there would be waiting for the gallery to go through whatever it was doing. This was all in a telephone conversation – nothing written down or official.  The next time I heard from the Panel was 12 October, ‘As promised some months ago, I’m getting in touch…’ In the intervening five months of silence a whole lot of spin came out from the AAG in the Media that the Gallery needed to make other appointments first one of which, ‘Kaupapa Māori’, would directly be involved in the Curator Maori appointment process. The person appointed to such a position would bring a particular expertise, in the area of the Treaty of Waitangi and its relevance in the workplace, to the Gallery. Apparently this was a priority that explained the ‘pause’.

More Māori representation sounded strange to me because two of the three panel members in the March interview were Māori. One was a representative of Haerewa (the Māori advisory panel supporting Māori within the gallery) and the other had broader Auckland Council experience in ToW workplace related issues. More importantly when the appointed ‘Kaupapa Māori’ member sat on the 12 November panel he only had a small area in the interview questionnaire because he (as with the Deputy Director  – also Maori and appointed several weeks earlier) had corporate but no background experience working in galleries, or in the arts industry or with curating Māori art specifically. Another wait followed and after a couple of weeks of no response to the interview and no request for referees I was inevitably informed another candidate had been appointed to the position.


What followed were a series of exchanges with an HR Manager who mentioned no commitment to the preferred candidate in the March interview had been made. After a number of letters and pressing her with a timeline, and arguing about the need to dialogue since the gallery apparently placed emphasis on partnership/conversational values and principles identified in the Treaty, some real information was squeezed out. I recall right at the end of my November 12 interview (the only chance one gets to actively dialogue) I asked the Director, why the protracted recruitment process and the long delays? No real or genuinely felt apology was offered, just a comment others higher up the chain, felt she (the Director) ‘apparently’ needed to be involved in the interview process. The HR Manager in a final proper response clarified the first process (where a unanimous decision had been made and references had been sought) had not been signed off by the Director. Bingo. Here was the issue that would have been useful back in April/May. Yes a clear rejection (i.e. we no longer want to proceed with your application) but something I could have coped with better than being kept hanging for much of the working year waiting for an interview that in the end most definitely was a formality, where something had already been decided and we were just going through the motions.

The wait and being left hanging was the issue, not the minor involvement that ToW kaupapa had in the final appointment. In the end only two of three original March panel members sat on the Committee and there was a strange addition to the Panel of the newly appointed Deputy Director also turning up (he asked one confusing question) to bolster, one presumes, the interview score so the numbers weighed in favour of the directorial position privately indicated in March. All in all there was no way anyone, even someone unanimously selected in the March interview and a previously preferred candidate, was going to successfully take on those odds in that November interview if the Director did not want them appointed. In my spirit I felt throughout that interview the outcome was already fait accompli.


Of course it was devastating to have the phone call from the person that had told me in March I should hang in there ‘in good faith’. However, the point of my kōrero here is not to dwell on my unhappiness with the rude and arrogant way AAGToT made me wait 7 months while they got their processes, response and alternative candidate worked out. I want to say that my referees for this position were amazing, incredibly supportive and that they always believed in me. Their response was they felt the long wait was unnecessary, the process dodgy, and it was the gallery’s loss not appointing me.


I am frustrated by the small number of industry people that keep cutting across and undermining me in the arts and in education. And that will be my ongoing process to find who slithers in the shadows. It still hurts and I am working through it but what I wanted to share here was a far more special moment that dramatically changed my thinking about this whole concern. My wife insisted on sharing a video she had taken of me talking about a month earlier about a painting that came out of a studio experience producing work for ĀTĀROA and the Mahara Gallery in Waikanae from May through to August. I was really reluctant to look at it. Although I am an educator and a presenter, lately I haven’t spoken much in posts. It was about 5/6 years ago I did some radio, television interviews and a short marketing film on my book MAORI ART, History, Architecture, Landscape and Theory (Batemans, 2015/2018).


Anyway, there I was the other day being forced to look at myself talking about Te Ruki Kawiti and the fight atop Ruapekapeka in 1845 and his kōrero with Hōne Wiremu Heke Pōkai … and I was deeply moved! It was like a version of myself and the ancestors had spoken truth into my spirit and into my future and I was listening to it.

So friends have you ever been at a point in your life where you have been brought to the edge? Have you ever taken on the parāoa in the ‘deep’? How did you cope? I want to make the point that neither the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi, nor of the earlier more important 1835 He Whakaputanga (the Declaration of Independence) nor of current institutional visions and slogans offered much hope for me in this particular situation. What moved me were the events that followed the signing of the 1840 document just as it moved Hōne Heke to test the Union Jack and British sovereignty. What moved me was the unhappiness of Te Ruki Kawiti to put up with the constant reneging of the Crown and its unwillingness to truly share power and honour the rangatiratanga and mana of indigenous leaders. Te Kawiti’s actions at Ōhaeawai and Ruapekapeka show a willingness to go out into te kōpua ‘the deep’ and take on the resistance.  

10 SHADES OF CRIMSON

© Rangihīroa Panoho, 2020-2023. No part of this document (text or imagery) is free to be copied, plagiarised or shared for publication or for uses neither intended nor agreed on by the author without his express permission.  Details for writing to the author are as follows: blueskypanoho@icloud.com          

written for the opening of Bruce Connew, ‘A Vocabulary’, Te Uru, Waitakere Contemporary Gallery, Titirangi 12 December 2020

E ngā mate. Ka mahara tātou ki ngā mumu Māori e takoto ana kei raro i ngā parekura o ngā pakanga whenua o mua. Haere, haere, haere. Haere ki te poho o te Atua, haere ki Hawaikinui, Hawaiki roa, Hawaiki pāmamao.

rangihīroa, Hato Mikaere, Ōhaeawai


The parekura
sits silent
no noise at all
just the chatter
of a tui
wrecking putiputi
down by the hall
just the wind
murmuring
across the fertile plains
he swore he heard their
voices around
Ngāi Kuku’s last remains
 
down by the river
where the fighting pā
once stood
or was it just the twittering of
pīwakawaka
in the woods
 
the scale of the loss
disgusted him
it explained why he refused
the spirit path to Rēinga
instead he would choose
to guard over
bones and taonga
and mourn unmentioned loss
hidden from a nearby cenotaph
that counted not the cost
 
raised to his last battle
near fields where he toiled
he read the text again and again
as if it would reveal
some other truth or meaning
that might possibly transcend
a vocabulary of forgetting
bronze letters that won’t bend
colourful adjectives
murdering rebels, barbarous savages

he struggled with the message
they were a people worth forgetting

Indeed not a word
of his hapū’s bravery
not a mention of their name
or that settler greed for land
was largely to blame
for a war no native asked for
how else could one explain
an eternity of loss within
and this deep gnawing pain
 
and when archaeologists visit
he wishes they’d hear him yell
Haere mai
E hoa, haul your trig over here, man
Yeah map us brother, draft us on that plan
 
but the grid only measures trenches
so we’ll always be missed
except by manuhiri
that want to take a piss
 
and summer comes and summer goes
and the pōhutukawa bleeds
scarlet in the morning
10 shades of crimson
when sun retreats

He pōhutukawa ko tahi

He pōhutukawa, e rua
He pōhutukawa, e toru..

Some notes regarding ’10 Shades…

My wife’s people, Te Aupōuri, live near Cape Rēinga in the ‘far North’ of Aotearoa. They along with other Muri Whenua iwi, like Ngāti Kuri, consider themselves gatekeepers to Te Rerenga o Wairua ‘the leaping off point of the Spirits’ at the northern extremity of Aotearoa. Many Polynesian Islands in the South Pacific have these leaping off points. This role of kaitiakitanga ‘guardianship’ at the departure point of ēnei wairua ‘these spirits’ journeying to Hawaiki has created family histories where ghost stories are common. At times the Spirits stop along the way and there are visitations. The narratives told at night of encounters with the spirits are the most frightening and are remembered and passed on with great relish and drama by the skilled storytellers of Muri Whenua.

10 Shades…then , in essence, is a ghost story taken from the point of view of a toa ‘Māori warrior’, he mumu Māori, who decides not to take the path to Rēinga and remains with his whānau and the warriors he fought with on a Ngā Pakanga Whenua o Mua battefield. In the poem one of the greatest struggles the central character has is accepting a memorial inscription raised near the battlefield. History, so the saying goes, is written by the victors. While this may be partly true these are also the days where indigenous voices outside the majority culture may also contest such histories.

I Drank the Water

© Rangihīroa Panoho, 2018-2023. No part of this document (text or imagery) is free to be copied, plagiarised or shared for publication or for uses neither intended nor agreed on by the author without his express permission. Details for writing to the author are as follows: blueskypanoho@icloud.com 
Photograph featured: Mark Adams, Ko Kawanui te puna, Whatitiri Springs, 26 October 1998, illustrated in MAORI ART, chapter 6 ‘Raruraru ki te Puna’, Batemans, 2015/2018: 139


I DRANK THE WATER

10 pm, Sunday 6 January 2018


Do you remember?

the stream we camped beside

when our families were huddled together

around the patriarch

and the dirty white canvas tent

that spouted waterfalls when it rained too hard

when your proudest boast was

how you hung off the Duke’s nose

we would put our heads under

and watch:

koeke ‘fresh water shrimps’ scuttle and dart

around smooth orange pebbles and

kōkopu flit to soft overhangs

nervous

as wind

ruffled the bracken dusted surface

even down under

we could still hear muffled

the branches of the mānuka

creak and laugh at our headless bodies

clattering they were

fondly against one another

as the clouds covered the holes in their canopy



rangihīroa, he uru manuka, Lake Rototoa, Kaipara ki Tonga, 2008

and like Narcissus

touching  the mirror

we drank from that wellspring

and drew in its purity

as if it had been struck from a rock

as if it was the air

that caressed the sheer rock cliffs

where the gannets dive



as if it was the birthright of

every New Zealander

And in case

you scoff as you wade our rivers

and dare not

practice baptism

or bring to your lips what you cannot boil

and in case you don’t recall

I drank that water



rangihīroa, Threatened Waikoropupū Springs, Golden Bay, Te Wai Pounamu, 2018


M a C VIII: Writing MAORI ART

gallery invitation
© Rangihīroa Panoho, 2020-2022. No part of this document (text or imagery) is free to be copied, plagiarised or shared for publication or for uses neither intended nor agreed on by the author without his express permission. Details for writing to the author are as follows: blueskypanoho@icloud.com The opinions expressed are those of Dr Panoho and not those of former employers or industry colleagues

 

BlueOrbit

rangihīroa,  he āmionga kikorangi, ‘the blue orbit’, 2018

 

E ngā kaipānui tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā ra koutou katoa. Ngā whakawhetai ki a koutou mo te awhi me te tautoko hoki. Hari te ngakau nei e hoko ana koutou ki tā tātou pukapuka. Naaku te rourou, nau te rourou, ka kī te kete.

The following text comprises notes used to prepare for a presentation of ‘Writing Māori Art’ at the City Gallery, Wellington, 25 August 2016. They explore the background to the creation of MAORI ART: History, Architecture, Landscape and Theory, Batemans, 2015/2018. Some key themes and motivations for the work are discussed. ‘Writing Maori Art’ has been edited for this particular platform however, it largely follows the question/response format used in the original kōrero. I am offering this as a kōha to recognise the many hundreds on the publisher’s facebook site that have supported this project and the many who have been visiting this companion site to peruse the MaC I-X blogs. I hope the kaupapa is useful to those searching for authorial intent.

 

Presentation
Panoho, Leonard, Caldwell, Brunt and Tamati-Quennell

Writing MAORI ART

It was difficult to know what to prepare here. I wondered who might be attending so I found myself asking questions throughout this kōrero.  I have largely kept that initial structure involving enquiry and response. This imagining ones audience and then writing to / for that readership or group is what I think writing a book is about. There were other influences as well. The panel members (Megan Tamati-Quennell, MONZ and Peter Brunt, VUW), that follow this talk, were also interested in hearing about the book’s central river metaphor so I have included some discussion on awa. If you are looking for a brief explanation of the river try this video link.

Lorraine Steele, (Lighthouse NZ PR Book Publicity) assigned by my publisher Batemans to help market ‘Maori Art’, told me prior to its initial launch in June 2015 at Te Uru that books, particularly art books in New Zealand, don’t sell themselves. No great revelation for those involved in publishing here tonight. You would immediately understand the role authorial self-promotion plays in marketing New Zealand books, films indeed all manner of creative activity in Aotearoa. In Auckland, the situation seems grim. With a city of nearly 1.5 million people there is no major window for New Zealand books on Queen Street, or apart from Unity Books further back, in the central city. Our publicist suggested I take a few months out to travel meet, greet, sign and sell. She was particularly keen on areas of the country with community ties to the book. What sounded like grim advice then makes good business sense now.

So here is my delayed response, eventually following marketing advice. In returning here to Wellington I am re-visiting a site important early on in the creation, the conceptualising, the illustration and in the production of ‘Maori Art’. I lived locally. I taught up the road on Tasman Street at the local Design School. My original publishing contracts were sent here. My first manuscript was created in this town. It was here I began describing to alarmed, possibly bemused readers, I was writing a book on Māori Art that would be centered around the metaphor of a river. My first readers Mary Barr, Jayne Sayle, Garry Nicholas and Luit Bieringa were and still all are locals. I curated a major Māori and a Pacific show, for the Dowse Art Museum and for the City Gallery respectively, prior to living here and I am grateful to Robert Leonard and the City Gallery for letting me continue this legacy in not simply celebrating curating but also writing ‘Maori Art’ with you.

 

WHY WRITE MAORI ART?

 

So why write a book on Māori Art? Indeed, why write any book? At risk of personal scrutiny I quote British novelist George Orwell’s essay ‘Why I Write‘  because his account of authorship and motivation provides a useful structure here to work with and against. Writing post world war II (summer 1946) Orwell lays down 4 drives: sheer egotism, aesthetic enthusiasm, historical impulse and political purpose.  Some areas resonate more than others. I test a couple of these ideas.

Continue reading “M a C VIII: Writing MAORI ART”

MaC V HEADLANDS: unpublished responses

HEADLANDS essay ‘MAORI AT THE CENTRE: ON THE MARGINS (with permission)

‘First published by the Museum of Contemporary Art Ltd, Sydney, Australia in 1992 in Headlands: Thinking though New Zealand Art, exhibition publication page 122’ MCA

© Rangihīroa Panoho, 2019-2023. No part of this document (text or imagery) is free to be copied, plagiarised or shared for publication or for uses neither intended nor agreed on by the author without his express permission. Details for writing to the author are as follows: blueskypanoho@icloud.com

 

rangihīroa, The Ineluctable Centre, 2017

 

rangihiroa, Pōkākā ‘storm’, 2017
Monsieur l'abbé, I detest what you write, but I would give my life to make it possible for you to continue to write.

Voltaire, letter to M. le Riche, 6 February 1770

Headlands is such an exquisitely uncomfortable exhibition that it may not prove popular. But it should be seen, both for the quality of the works and for the way it reveals a darker but more interesting side to our nearest neighbours.

Joanna Mendelssohn, New Views of NZ, The Bulletin, 21 April 1992: 104

Black music has very often been stolen and co-opted by white people. But there is a complexity to the story of the blues. Early blues records had vanished by the 1950s. They were disposable things on their way to being forgotten completely. And it was a coterie of white collectors who rescued them from oblivion. Now there are problems with the white taste for the authentic, and the patronizing way that some of the old bluesmen were dug up and exhibited as authentic primitives.

Hari Kunzru interview with Sigurjón Birgir Sigurðsson ‘Sjón’, BOMB, 15 May 2017

White man, hear me! History, as nearly no one seems to know, is not merely something to be read. And it does not refer merely, or even principally, to the past. On the contrary, the great force of history comes from the fact that we carry it within us, are unconsciously controlled by it in many ways, and history is literally present in all that we do. It could scarcely be otherwise, since it is to history that we owe our frames of reference, our identities, and our aspirations. And it is with great pain and terror one begins to realize this. In great pain and terror one begins to assess the history which has placed one where one is and formed one’s point of view. In great pain and terror because, therefore, one enters into battle with that historical creation, Oneself, and attempts to recreate oneself according to a principle more humane and more liberating; one begins the attempt to achieve a level of personal maturity and freedom which robs history of its tyrannical power, and also changes history. But, obviously, I am speaking as an historical creation which has had bitterly to contest its history, to wrestle with it, and finally accept it in order to bring myself out of it.’ 

 James Baldwin, ‘White Man’s Guilt’, Ebony, August 1965

Headlands aimed to present an overview of New Zealand art which opened up ways of thinking, extended knowledge, and shifted this knowledge into new possibilities of awareness. By building on pre-existing notions of the culture and art of New Zealand, this exhibition reflected and reconsidered those judgements, presenting new ideas, and re-presenting the familiar in a new context. 

Museum of Contemporary Art statement, MCA, Sydney web site, accessed 20 December 2017

 

rangihīroa, ‘Wīwī, wāwā ‘scattered localities‘, 2017

I have been thinking through Baldwin’s comments. With the past everpresent, musing over HEADLANDS, its many responses, over the decades, means contesting less helpful frames of history many critics have sought to impose and reiterate but seldom to revise. American writer Susan Sontag once confided, ‘Reading criticism clogs conduits through which one gets new ideas: cultural cholesterol. For me various reactions to, not so much my 1992 essay (‘Maori at the Centre, On the Margins…’ for HEADLANDS, MCA, Sydney) but rather to, its authorship, constitute ongoing cultural constriction. Too much has been written, is still being written about me rather than the eleven paragraphs (of a more broadly positioned essay) I penned.

Reading criticism clogs conduits through which one gets new ideas: cultural cholesterol. 

Susan Sontag diary 1964

It would be difficult, unnecessary even, to fractionally respond to these critiques when references to arguments in my HEADLANDS essay have become something of a diversion. Like ‘true north’ its’ position exists in that direction over there: like the angle that one might point one’s house to capture the sun. Immediately after my PhD examination, 2003 novelist Witi Ihimaera (part of the examination panel) breezily described this compass point as a pragmatic reference. The essay he said was one of his points of bearing, out there, on the periphery. For me the edginess of Ihimaera’s remark has deeper resonance. ‘Maori at the Centre…’ has been impaled, muted and neutered. It doesn’t argue back. It mostly offers up a couple of oft-quoted phrases obediently receiving endless re-inscription. If anyone has difficulty understanding this controversial treatment ask the text it saw it all: monologues not discussions, soliloquy not dialogue and silence from, not debate with, the protagonists.

DEBATE: ‘A formal discussion on a particular matter in a public meeting...in which opposing arguments are put forward...’ Oxford Dictionary

So after a quarter of a century…

Continue reading “MaC V HEADLANDS: unpublished responses”

Rangi’s Art

TOI ATAATA

 

Auckland based I am devoted to researching Asia Pacific visual\culture and this feeds into my writing, my art practice, my music & my curating.

 

Other original imagery, writing can be viewed on the following links:

  https://www.instagram.com/rangihiroa/

https://vimeo.com/user39886547

https://www.linkedin.com/in/dr-rangihiroa-panoho

 

Rangihīroa Panoho, Āku Maunga Hāere (My Travelling Mountains), 2015, acrylic inks and paint on paper, 3901 x 1267mm revisits an earlier work. This series tells the story of the travelling of New Zealand’s resources overseas whether as a tangible or as a financial product. This series was first displayed at the launch for the book MĀORI ART on display at Te Uru Waitākere Contemporary Gallery, Titirangi, AUCKLAND in June 2015 (catalogue here). It was shown with some of the other framed works on display on this site (see below photographs by Sameshima and Adams). Āku Maunga Hāere is also the name of one of the chapters in the book MĀORI ART and relates to some of the key issues discussed in that section of the publication.

 

Rangihīroa Panoho, Te Wairere a Miru (Wairua Falls), 2013, acrylic inks and watercolour on board (IOU exhibition, TIVOLI, Waiheke April 2016)

 

Rangihīroa Panoho, Pao pao te wai, Waipao te awa, acrylic on canvas, 2016 (IOU exhibition, TIVOLI, Waiheke April 2016)

The river with which Te Uriroroi identify is named after the flush of water in summer from the Whatitiri puna that was so powerful the motion caused boulders and rocks to clash and clatter into one another. Pao refers to the striking smashing motion of the water.

 

 

Rangihīroa Panoho, Kōkohuia, 2015, acrylic on board (IOU exhibition, TIVOLI, Waiheke April 2016)

Whiti/Fiji, the cross over, Navigator Series, 2013, acrylic inks and gold on board, photo: Haruhiko Sameshima (IOU exhibition, TIVOLI, Waiheke April 2016)

 

                                             Hoturoa holds out the Korotangi, photo: Haruhiko Sameshima (IOU exhibition, TIVOLI, Waiheke April 2016)

 

                WORK IN PROGRESS

 

Bi-disk/kaka pooria, drawing, acrylic inks on paper. Jose and Catherine Conland, Wellington. [Comparative material]

 

ALOHA, 2014-2021

 

                                                 ALOHA under construction

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Rangihīroa, Northern Wars (1845/1846) preparatory sketches, 2020
preparatory drawings, Rāhiri at Whiria, Pākanae, Hokianga te whanga, wānanga, 2020
rangihīroa Northern Wars, 2020, coloured acrylic inks, matai and Japanese cherry on paper

MAORI ART book Television & Radio coverage

For the convenience of those visiting the site this post contains 5 samples of video, Television and Radio material in chronological sequence 2015-2016 covering the publication ‘MAORI ART: History, Architecture, Landscape and Theory‘,  Batemans, Auckland, launched Te Uru, Waitakere Contemporary Art Gallery, Titirangi, Auckland, 10 June 2015.

The publishers facebook site (link above) has all the background to the making of the Film Construction book launch video with Director Perry Bradley and his team: Kia rere tonu ngā wai o te awa. ‘The River Must Flow’. Producer -Felicia Brunsting, DOP – James Rua, Production Assistant – Ferris Bradley, Stills Photographer – Belinda Bradley. Locations, Kingsland\Central Kaipara, 16 May 2015

Māori art book illustrates ‘visual whakapapa’‘Expert art historian, and our first ever Māori PhD recipient in Art History, Rangihiroa Panoho has just released a new book with a unique focus on Māori art and how it conveys whakapapa through visual mediums.’ Reporter: Manawa Wright, Te Kārere, TVNZ, location: Pukekawa, Auckland Domain, 10 June 2015

publicity Maori Art book
RNZ Interview Panoho/Ryan 2015 Maori Art launch

How to look at Māori art in the 21st century,  Interview with Kathryn Ryan, Nine to Noon, 12 June 2015. Link here:  http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/ninetonoon/audio/201758148/how-to-look-at-maori-art-in-the-21st-century 

‘Maori Art’ book, Interview Matai Smith and author, Good Morning, TVNZ, 28 July 2015

MAORI ART wins AAANZ Prize for best writing by Māori\Pacific author, Australia National University, Canberra. Video : PIHIRAU PRODUCTIONS Ltd, 3 December, 2016

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FIVE MINUTES in FUTUNA

CHAPEL memorial service poroporoaki for Dr Ray Thorburn (1937-2023) Kārori 6 May 2023


Dr Ray Thorburn (far right) and te roopu whānau (L-R – Rosemary and Mapuna Pocklington, Rev. Rikki Witana Snr, ko au, Shona Pink-Martin raua ko Adam Pink-Martin) PhD celebration for Māori graduates, Tānenui-a-Rangi whare, Waipapa Mārae, University of Auckland, May 2003

Ka tangi te kūkū, ka tangi te kākā,

ka tangi hoki ahau.

Ka hinga te rākau rangatira,

he rata whakamarumaru.

Ngāueue te ngahere.

Ka rere, kei runga ake, te kāhui manu,

e ngaoki mōwaho mai ana

ngā pepeke kei raro.

Kei hea e okioki ana rātou?

Ka titiro ake au ki te poupou o te rā.

Kaore te marumaru o tou mangu

e toro mai ana.


Nā reira, e te marumaru takoto mai,

okioki koe, moe mai rā. Ka mahara au

ki tou awhi me te tautoko tonu hoki.

Haere, haere, haere, haere ki te poho

o te Atua.

Tēnā koe te whare tapū e tū nei

ko Futuna te mahi toi o te kaihanga

rongonui ko John Scott. Ka titiro au ki

te whare nei ka mōhio ki Te Atua

ae, heoi anō te āhuatanga o Tāne

whakapiripiri hoki (taku kōrero whakarite – te poutokomanawa ne!).

E te whānau pani.

Taku aroha ki a Sally rāua ko Mark

me te whānau whanui me te wāhi ngaro,

he wāhi tahanga nei i mahue iho

he mamae hōhonu.

Ka tangi te kūkū, ka tangi te kākā,

ka tangi hoki ahau.

Ka hinga te rākau rangatira,

he rata whakamarumaru.

Ngāueue te ngahere.

Ka rere, kei runga ake, te kāhui manu,

e ngaoki mōwaho mai ana

ngā pepeke kei raro.

Kei hea e okioki ana rātou?

Ka titiro ake au ki te poupou o te rā.

Kaore te marumaru o tou mangu

e toro mai ana.


Nā reira, e te marumaru takoto mai,

okioki koe, moe mai rā. Ka mahara au

ki tou awhi me te tautoko tonu hoki.

Haere, haere, haere, haere ki te poho

o te Atua.

Tēnā koe te whare tapū e tū nei

ko Futuna te mahi toi o te kaihanga

rongonui ko John Scott. Ka titiro au ki

te whare nei ka mōhio ki Te Atua

ae, heoi anō te āhuatanga o Tāne

whakapiripiri hoki (taku kōrero whakarite – te poutokomanawa ne!).

John Scott, Futuna Chapel, 1958-1961, Interior looking back to entrance, 6 May 2023

E te whānau pani.

Taku aroha ki a Sally rāua ko Mark

me te whānau whanui me te wāhi ngaro,

he wāhi tahanga nei i mahue iho

he mamae hōhonu.

E ngā whāea e ngā mātua tēnā koutou,

tēnā koutou, tēnā rā koutou katoa.


I couldn’t think of any other way to offer

a tribute in the 3 minutes left here other

than a poetic sketch to hint at the loss

and legacy left by Dr Ray Thorburn:


Ray wore shiny leather shoes

The kind that clacked on the lino and

made one stand to attention

no pretension

just passing through

seeking signatures

down rabbit hole corridors

a man on a mission

with papers and meetings and mates

and pressing dates round

plates of calendars and curricula

red face, white walrus moustache

confident gestures on the white board

charting a layline in March

ending the old and setting sail for Whetumārama

and the trajectory you plotted was a path

true to the cultures you loved

true to a uniqueness you cherished.

your words

‘…the quest in your painting
to make the image take on
the personality of its surroundings

Dr Ray Thorburn, Modular3, Series 2, 1970, Christchurch Art Gallery


and that was the new conjoint design degree programme

a balance of horizontals and verticals

producing a third plane:

optical, bedazzling

where you sought

‘…[a] total environment where the audience is completely

encompassed by the work.’

And out of this fertile soil

your manager wanted to grow 

a Bauhaus of the South Pacific

but I think a gathering place of

like-minded colleagues

was more in your mind

a mārae ātea


where you assembled

and employed us

and sold us

a dream in the early 1990s

me a burnt out foundational Māori curator

and others more senior

from around the world

signed up with the stroke of a pen

in airport lounges entered and exited

between flights


I once asked you how you knew I was looking for work?

a little bird tapped on my shoulder, you said

and over the years we kept connections

LinkedIn, my PhD celebration, job references

where we supported one another

or perhaps, where you were simply trying to encourage


I found you a man of vision and ideas

who believed in me more than I believed in myself

I now stand on your shoulders

Not because the vision has been executed

But because your legacy is in

others bringing it to life.

I think you were right when you wrote

but never sent me these words:


‘…you and your colleagues did outstanding
work  transforming the school and creating
NZ’s first conjoint degree programme between
a university and polytechnic.  It was a culturally
inclusive curriculum which Massey University
took over and adapted…To not stand up for
those who made it possible is to dishonour
their remarkable achievements.’

Dr Ray Thorburn, portrait in situ, memorial service, Futuna Chapel, 6 May 2023

Your life Dr Ray Thorburn was full of such

remarkable achievements and it was an

honour walking with you a while

and here

recounting one of the milestones

along the way.


Nā reira, kanui te koa

kua huihui mai tātou i tēnei ahiahi pō,

kia ora mai anō tātou katoa.

_________________________________________________

https://vimeo.com/817089068/6cb172de62
Press the above vimeo link for the whole the Futuna Chapel memorial service (the 5 minutes referenced above is 1:02:10 onwards).

MONUMENTAL CHANGE

© Rangihīroa Panoho, 2019-2023. No part of this document (text or imagery) is free to be copied, plagiarised or shared for publication or for uses neither intended nor agreed on by the author without his express permission. Details for writing to the author are as follows: blueskypanoho@icloud.com

how we remember ‘colonial legacy’ : the Marmaduke George Nixon obelisk, Great South Road, Ōtāhuhu

Nixon obelisk, Great South Rd, Tāmaki Makaurau. Photo: RNZ / Cole Eastham-Farrelly

‘Photographer Bruce Connew: NZ’s colonial memorials’. Excerpt from Kim Hill Interview with Connew, Saturday Morning, 11.40 am on 19 December 2020

…K.H              Let’s just talk about one of the pictures we have up on our web page. It is part of a gravestone to Marmaduke George Nixon who commanded colonial defence force cavalry. Interesting reference to Nixon in an essay within your book by the historian/curator Dr Rangihīroa Panoho, who says that New Zealand should not try to sanitize this unflattering history. Don’t remove that Ōtāhuhu memorial to Colonel Nixon, for example, how else will we learn? Do you share that view, presumably?

B.C      Yes, I do share that view but it was interesting when I came up with the idea for this project I wanted someone to write an essay. The very first person I thought about was Rangihīroa and contacted him and he agreed. But what I wanted to do, maybe this is the Pākehā boy from Panmure, I wanted to photograph separately [my emphasis]. I didn’t want him to see what I was photographing. I didn’t want him to discuss what I was photographing…

K.H      So his essay is not a commentary on your photos

B.C      Absolutely. So [that was] what I wanted, although at times he has found it a little bit awkward. He has written beautifully. It will make you cry. But…I didn’t want to see it until it was bound in the book. Two things there. One, I didn’t want it to influence me in the way I responded to what I found because I was on a mission to find what was out there and what it might mean. I wanted him to write without me trying to influence him. It had to be completely his. I was determined and I didn’t read it until the book was bound and I was completely blown away. [I] could see that we crossed over in places – Māori/Pākehā – quite different cultures but we brought similar ideas together.

K.H      And it’s a really timely book because we seem to have reached some peak colonisation talk in this last year. People, and this is around the world not only in New Zealand, have this prescient view. To you it feels like this was the continuation of your career.

B.C      It’s the way it worked out. It was the next thing. There was discussion as the [Civil War] monuments started to come down in the US…whether the monuments here should be pulled down or turned away and that is what Rangi is referring to in his text. There are two things out at Ōtāhuhu. There is the 8 metre tall monument. He was a very popular army man at the time. New Zealand loved him. But he was also part of the militia which went out and killed people. There is also a gravestone in front of that monument and that is where that photograph is from – Grafton Gully. He is one of the few who was disinterred and the remains put out at Ōtāhuhu. He was involved in a pretty bad moment in the war.     

This small blog is a belated response to a portion of the above RNZ interview which I just played back. The reference point to the conversation is the section of my essay below and of course to the contentious and ongoing debate as to whether George Marmaduke Nixon’s Monument should be removed from its current Ōtāhuhu location (despite the Auckland Council’s response in 2017). I refer to Nixon directly in my essay and this is picked up on in Kim Hill’s commentary. However, my reasons for wanting these kinds of monuments to stay in position isn’t just the point I make about reminding future New Zealanders about our dodgy colonial past. In the very first paragraph of the 2nd section of the essay I lay out my understanding of whakapapa and the way that history is layered. Yes, I am quoting Orwell but it is really just because he describes it so well. History is a palimpsest. I believe, and I tested this theory to a large degree in my book MAORI ART, that the best kind of palimpsest is the one that shows all its layers – the accretion of the good, the bad and the ugly. That is our mixed up past and to try and hide it away in a museum or a library or in our pronouncements about people’s behaviour is a very poor legacy we leave unresolved for future generations. Kim Hill noted that an Ōtāhuhu resident, who saw herself as educated, felt the monument should be removed. Her reasoning was that we wouldn’t want a statue of Hitler in our midst. Everyone should be allowed to express their opinion but I do wonder whether the Auckland resident considered Germany’s Erinnerungskultur and the Nazi predicament that continues to haunt leaders and common people alike even to this day. See, for example, one commentator’s view of Chancellor Angela Merkles legacy as a leader.

All German post-war chancellors have been committed to a “culture of remembrance” (Erinnerungskultur) that remembers the Holocaust and its victims and accepts the responsibility to transmit knowledge of the crimes to younger generations. Chancellor Angela Merkel’s constant and consistent commitment to furthering a culture of remembrance has stood out.

Grappling with such a serious legacy is still there. Burying a monument, judged by a particular generation to be politically incorrect, in museum storage or perhaps on display or, worse, erasing the public memory of the momument (or possibly destroying it) does not help the public view, interpret or understand why it was once valorised by earlier generations of the same public. Seeing and engaging, rather than imagining, the physical remains of our ‘colonial’ legacy may very well help us better understand it.

Panoho, part of essay for Connew’s ‘A Vocabulary’

E KŌRERO ANA KEI ROTO I TE KORE ‘SPEAKING INTO THE VOID’, the 2nd section of an essay written for Bruce Connew’s ‘A Vocabulary’, Vapour Momenta Press, 2021

There must be a way then to speak into the complex layers of this past where family and tribal members are both loyalist and ‘rebels’ and where leaders serve very different tribal and Crown agendas at the same time. Perhaps an adaption of the British novelist George Orwell’s palimpsest might be useful here. In his historical allegory Nineteen Eighty-Four Orwell said, 'All history was a palimpsest, scraped clean and re-inscribed exactly as often as was necessary' Rather than the authoritarian erasure Orwell describes the printer’s palimpsest might prove more utilitarian. Here the past might be thought of as not so much erased but as rendered translucent. Each layer of time builds on the previous and collectively it allows a peering-through process to take place.
                                                 Panoho in Connew 2021: 31 

ĀTĀROA at the Kupe Waka Centre

KOHIA TE HĀ O TE AURERE ‘gather the essence of the wind’


© Rangihīroa Panoho, 2019-2023. No part of this document (text or imagery) is free to be copied, plagiarised or shared for publication or for uses neither intended nor agreed on by the author without his express permission. Details for writing to the author are as follows: blueskypanoho@icloud.com

MAORI ART exhibited in a far northern community

‘…his passing [i.e. that of Hekenukumai Busby] is a big loss to everyone in the waka community, not just us, but to all those in the Pacific. And it’s a huge challenge for us. It’s not as if the waka has landed and it’s all over now. We’ve got to keep trying to move along and face all the challenges like he did over the last 40 years. We’d be irresponsible not to try to carry on with his mahi and kaupapa. Otherwise, our time with him would’ve been all for nothing…A large burden has been lifted from him, and our job now is to ensure that we are true to the things he taught us.’

Hoturoa Barlow-Kerr, ‘Hoturoa and the waka legacy, E -Tangata 9 June 2019

I started out writing this blog to help explain the context for an exhibition of Māori art (ĀTĀROA ‘long shadow’) I contributed within Whētu Mārama ‘bright star’ a Māori community building, part of the Kupe Waka Centre which opened 10 December 2022 and which continues until 10 February 2023. If you are interested in that part of the kōrero then you will find detail at the end of this account and in the latter selection of images enclosed.

Continue reading “ĀTĀROA at the Kupe Waka Centre”

JESUS WALKED OUT…

Cornwallis Wharf, 24 OCtober 2021

————————————————————————————————————–

I read this morning that Jesus walked out…

today on Cornwallis wharf

there was not a soul risking life or limb

on the water

2 Tongans expertly cast nylon

in wet weather orange

at the far end

————————————————————————————————————–

polluted plankton, Cornwallis Wharf beach 24 October 2021

and down under

squat round piles

a splattering

of plankton cookie cutter shapes

rivals the finest Joan Miró

strewn rainbow petroleum mirrors

carried in grudgingly by tiny brown waves

————————————————————————————————————–

today

the wind and waves

do not obey

Tāwhiri mātea blows

Tangaroa vomits

and I am feeling a little queasy

© Rangihīroa Panoho, 2019-2023. No part of this document (text or imagery) is free to be copied, plagiarised or shared for publication or for uses neither intended nor agreed on by the author without his express permission. Details for writing to the author are as follows: blueskypanoho@icloud.com

HE KOHUKOHU WAOWAO

‘the mist that obscures’

© Rangihīroa Panoho, 2020-2023. No part of this document (text or imagery) is free to be copied, plagiarised or shared for publication or for uses neither intended nor agreed on by the author without his express permission. Details for writing to the author are as follows: blueskypanoho@icloud.com  


Dear Ranginui.

I heard that the mist is

your tears mourning separation

over aeons from your lover – Papa.

It’s a comological story

And yet still you shower us with your heart

I hear the tangi across St Lukes

when you send a river

like Tāhū-o-te-rangi

across the sky?


You are the painter that rides the clouds with prussian blue

and with one calligraphic stroke

throws cadmium white into the air.

talcum brush

puff

kohukohu ‘mist’ –


as if

to break the silence

and to announce

yours is the better korowai for Papa.

better than the concrete shroud

the blanket of tar sporting

warpaint

arrows and lines

letters and hieroglyphics


three tall pylons,

and a couple of billboards

that quietly inject steel legs

into the skin

of the local carpark.

I n M y G r a n d m o t h e r ‘ s G a r d e n

20 April 2020

Reflective entry regarding the enforced Covid 19 bubble, memory and gathering

Featured image: Rangihīroa, ‘Tōtara North, Ditch‘ 10.51 am, 1 September 2019, captures a stretch of road that once was the life blood of the little kauri timber milling community on the Northwestern side of the Whangaroa Harbour. To the left at the entrance of the road is the hall where pictures used to be projected and cricket was played on grounds that today are being reclaimed by the arterial fingers of the harbour. The road leads up towards an historic graveyard where many of the colonial families are buried (including my mother, my grandparents, my aunties, uncles and Pākehā ancestors) assembled together as they once were in life. Further on is the nineteenth century school which many of these loved ones attended. For 6 months in 1970 I would walk with cousins from the corner where the bus would drop us off. I sometimes had bare feet and I remember the soft soles of my town feet didn’t much like the loose metal road. That was 1970.

© Rangihīroa Panoho, 2019-2023. No part of this document (text or imagery) is free to be copied, plagiarised or shared for publication or for uses neither intended nor agreed on by the author without his express permission. Details for writing to the author are as follows: blueskypanoho@icloud.com 


I remember the hillside you planted in edible green

And hours spent weeding, picking beans

cutting courgettes up there

killing holiday time on the windy ridge

amongst red soil soaking up afternoon sun

drying ocre encrusted feet and

penitent knees

overlooking the Whangaroa

Continue reading “I n M y G r a n d m o t h e r ‘ s G a r d e n”

THE SKY WE SHARE

© Rangihīroa Panoho, 2020-2023. No part of this document (text or imagery) is free to be copied, plagiarised or shared for publication or for uses neither intended nor agreed on by the author without his express permission. Details for writing to the author are as follows: blueskypanoho@icloud.com             

5 January 2020 (revised)



E hoa mā

Titiro atu ake ki te au pōuri

How can we not think of you?

You turn our days into evenings

our sun into a giant apocalyptic orange

that fills our horizon

a haze that hangs around for days



Up there

big brother

the atmosphere we share

is turning red

red like your soil

red like the blood

and the antipodean sky

we share



Friends

we are not so far away

that we cannot sense your nightmares

the smell of ash in the air

the death of eucalypts

the cry of the koala and the waratah

of heath and of kangaroos

of bush and of lizards

of birds above, of insects and of reptiles below

of adrenalin that rises up from every living creature

of homes and towns under siege




Neighbours

we are not too far away

that this devastation does not reach our nostrils

and touch our hearts



Tā tātou aroha ki Te Whenua Moemoeā

E ngā mate, moe mai, takoto mai rā

E te Atua

tahuri mai ki taku karanga

kia titaha mai tou taringa ki taku inoi…

whakatitahatia mai tou taringa ki ahau

whakarongo ki taku kupu

He inoi tātou mō te mutunga ki ēnei ahi whakamōtī



E te tuākana

Mā te Atua koutou

e manaaki e tiaki e ora e wairua ake tonu atu.