Monday, October 5, 2009


I just know I’m going to be horribly frustrated later this week because a series of already-scheduled meetings here in Christchurch mean that it is unlikely I will make it up to Porirua, near Wellington for the 2009 MAORI ART MARKet. One of my friends went to the 2007 market and said it was fabulous and I’d set my heart of going this time round. I’ll be missing a real showcase of top artworks by more than 60 leading and emerging contemporary Maori artists. Imagine all that creativity in one place – everything from painting, carving, photography and weaving to silver jewellery, clay works, mixed media and Ta Moko (tattoo). An estimated NZ$1-million worth of artwork is predicted to change hands at the event or soon after.
Driven by Toi Maori Aotearoa (Maori Arts New Zealand) and located at Pataka Museum and the newly-opened Te Rauparaha Events Centre on October 9, 10 and 11, the market is a biennial event that has flourished since it was first launched as Maori Arts Meets America in San Francisco in 2005. The concept is based on the highly successful INDIAN MARKET, which began over 80 years ago and is held in Santa Fe every August. As part of the concept, other indigenous artists are also invited to attend and this year, market-goers will have the chance to see the work of renowned Haida Indian fashion designer, Dorothy Grant; contemporary Hopi Indian painter, Dan Namingha; and Tahitian Tlingit sculptor, Dempsey Bob. Invited Pacific artists include Lorene Taurerewa, Michael Tuffery and writer/painter, Albert Wendt. And that’s before we even start on the terrific line-up of Maori artists – many of whom have already established high profiles nationally and internationally, others of whom are just starting out on their creative journey. I’ll be bringing you more about the market – and some of the artists featured there – in the coming days….even if I don’t get there in person. (Both images courtesy Toi Maori Aotearoa).

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