Mā Wai Rā: New Māori Photobooks
Photospace Gallery, 1/37 Courtenay Place, Wellington. 18 August – 3 September 2022
Mā Wai Rā is a collection of photobooks from alumni and current students from Whiti or Rehua School of Art, Massey University. It may be the first ever exhibition of Māori photobooks.
Curated by Tessa Williams and Michael Mahne Lamb
The exhibition is supported by Massey University and Photobook / NZ.
Hendrix Hennessy-Ropiha is a Wellington, Aotearoa based early-career artist of Māori (Ngāti Kahungunu, Ngāti Raukawa) and Pākeha (Irish) descent, graduating from Massey University in 2021 with a Bachelor of Design (Photography) with Honours.
Hendrix is a visual artist working predominantly within photography. His practice often revolves around social and political issues within Aotearoa and how art can help examine these issues in new ways. His recent ongoing work ‘We can travel only a short way together’ uses photography as a way of exploring the social, cultural and political reasons for the invisibility of suicide discussion in Aotearoa.
Mariama Hunia (Ngāti Awa/Ngāti Rangithi)
Mariama Hunia is an aspiring young photographer from the Bay of Plenty area. Her work primarily
explores how people express and share a range of emotions through a photography-based medium.
‘Rose Poem’ looks into themes of childhood memories, change and the preservation of family
archives, in collaboration with Keld Hunia. It is a tribute to the garden I grew up in; one my late mother was dedicated to supervising and taking care of, as she did with the children in these images.
Michael Mahne Lamb (Ngati Kahungunu) is an artist currently living and working in Te Whanganui-a-Tara (Wellington, NZ). He holds a Bachelor of Design with Honours from Massey University and is currently pursuing an MFA in photography at the University of Hartford, Connecticut.
Maximillian Scott Murray (Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Awa)
Distant Disconnections explores traditional concepts of individual, social and industrial connection to Aotearoa’s varied environments, alongside undertones of nature’s reclamation of space, and its own living adaptation and reconnection to te ao hurihuri - the ever changing world.
Whatungarongaro te tangata, toitū te whenua
Deme Te Atawhai Scott (Ngā Maihi/Ngāti Awa, Ngā Mahanga a Tairi/Taranaki)
Scott is a photographer and filmmaker based in the Te Whanganui-a-Tara (Wellington) area. Scott works within the boundaries of the photographic medium to investigate the interwoven politics of identity and revisiting what home is. Scott’s work derives from her mixed Māori and Pākehā whakapapa, reflecting on her ever-changing relationships with loved ones. ‘Love, Tony' is published in memory of Scott’s Great Uncle, Tony McGregor, and what it means to miss belonging to a place and time. It is a taonga to share my whakaata alongside his own.
Maija Stephens (Ngāti Kahungunu, Rongomaiwāhine, Ngāti Rangi) is an emerging artist/photographer based in Pōneke. Her practice surround issues concerning Te Taiao, her identity and experience as a wāhine Māori. She aims to decolonise the medium of photography itself through the way she wields the camera and by bringing visual precedence to complex concepts informed by Mātauranga Māori. This takes form in both conceptual, studio, as well as documentary photography. Maija is currently in her third year at Massey University’s Toi Rauwhārangi.
I will always whisper your name
Tessa Williams (Ngāti Rakaipaaka, Ngāti Kahungunu, Pākehā)
This book expresses a journey of grief and healing after experiencing the loss of a pregnancy through abortion and miscarriage. A small collection of Polaroids intended for the viewer who understands this pain and requires the sensitivity that this small intimate format provides.
Photography Matters II