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Source: University of Waikato

There’s a major new exhibition being launched at the Calder & Lawson Gallery at the Gallagher Academy today (June 26), coinciding with the opening of the NAISA conference.

He Tirohanga ki Tai: Dismantling the Doctrine of Discovery has been curated by Tina Ngata and is brought to the campus gallery in conjunction with Te Pua Wānanga ki te Ao Faculty of Māori and Indigenous Studies. It features leading and emerging Māori artists who’ve created a completely sovereign space to stage a visual conversation critiquing the Cook invasion, the ensuing colonial experience up to and including the TUIA250 events – 250 years since the first onshore meetings between Māori and Europeans.

This exhibition was originally co-curated with Reuben Friend (Director of Pataka Art + Museum), and was first shown at Tairāwhiti Museum, in Whataupoko, Tūranganui a Kiwa (Poverty Bay), not far from the actual site of invasion.

It has subsequently toured to New York, where it was hosted by the ORA Gallery in Manhattan and was accompanied with talks by First Nations scholars on the specific impacts of the Doctrine of Discovery and Indigenous women.

Here at Waikato, the exhibition sits alongside the NAISA conference being hosted by the University of Waikato this week (26-29 June). It’s the first time this Native American and Indigenous Studies Conference has been outside of North America.

The art exhibition features work by some of Aotearoa New Zealand’s finest, including Robyn Kahukiwa, Rachael Rakena, Ngāhina Hohaia, Israel Tangaroa Birch, Tina Ngata, Tāwera Tahuri, Charlotte Graham, Numangatini MacKenzie, Kauri Hawkins, Derek Lardelli, John Moetara and Emily Kitson.

He Tirohanga ki Tai: Dismantling the Doctrine of Discovery is an art exhibition and public forum that addresses the historical fallacy of the European ‘discovery’ of Aotearoa New Zealand. As the title suggests, he tirohanga ki tai (a view from the shore), the exhibition provides an indigenous perspective looking out from our place in the world.’

– Reuben Friend, Director – Pataka Art + Museum, Porirua City

The exhibition opens Wednesday 26 June at 5.30pm and will run until Friday 13 September.

Also on display during the NAISA Conference will be Witness, a font-based print series, commissioned to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Dene Nation, and a now-global organisation that represents the multiple Dene cultures, governments, languages and communities in the Canadian North. The series shares quotes made by elders during the Berger Inquiry, an attempt to stop the oil pipeline Canada wanted to build through Dene land.

A selection of this print series will be on display in the Playhouse Foyer of the Gallagher Academy of Performing Arts throughout the NAISA Conference. It’s been brought to the University of Waikato by Dr Gavin Renwick and Dr Paul Harrison from the universities of Alberta and Dundee respectively, courtesy of the University of Waikato Faculty of Māori and Indigenous Studies.

MIL OSI New Zealand News