Artistic Connections Between Cooks, New Zealand On Display

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Pacific Islands Development Program, East-West Center With Support From Center for Pacific Islands Studies, University of Hawai‘i

Exhibition in Rarotonga includes visiting carvers, weavers from NZ

By Phillipa Webb

RAROTONGA, Cook Islands (Cook Islands News, Nov. 18, 2015) – The strong links between the Cook Islands and New Zealand have been delicately woven and carved into an exhibit of stunning art on display in Rarotonga this month.

The Matariki Maori Art Exhibition opened at BCA Gallery on Monday night.

The collection on display was generated at the week-long art workshop and exchange in June, involving visiting carvers and weavers from the New Zealand Maori Arts and Crafts Institute and local Cook Islands artists.

Speaking at the exhibition opening, New Zealand High Commissioner Nick Hurley said the collaboration highlighted the strong heritage between the Cook Islands and New Zealand Maori.

Hurley said he and his wife Christine were especially taken by two pieces created by wood from Ngatipa, the Official Residence of the New Zealand High Commission.

The exhibition perfectly weaves Cook Islands and Maori cultures together, featuring the 50th celebrations logo and also familiar New Zealand Maori patterns and designs.

Air New Zealand was a key sponsor of the June workshop, paying for the return flights for the visiting New Zealand artists to make the journey to Rarotonga.

The workshop was produced by the clever duo Mo Newport and Glenda Tuaine, who Hurley said were an integral part of the smooth running of the event.

Aotearoa Society president Derek Fox said the society was humbled to receive a stunning carving by the group of artists, as appreciation for their hospitality during the visit.

The exhibition is open to the public until November 28 and all are invited to visit the BCA Gallery to view the works on display.

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