Tiki Stardust opens at the Tairāwhiti Museum

The Tiki Stardust exhibition opened at the Tairāwhiti Museum on Friday 15 October 2015.
The event was a lovely and lively gathering, my son Tawhairiri was the photographer.
He took photos of all of us in front of the art pieces.
A press clipping is also attached.

Tiki Stardust

I am hosting a solo exhibition called Tiki Stardust, at the Tairawhiti Museum.  Here’s a blurb:

Tiki Stardust is the beginning of an adventure. Tiki is a Māori girl. She loves drawing, books, cats and sitting up late to watch 12 O Clock Rock.  This exhibition is a prequel, a heraldic vision of rock n roll glory, originally glimpsed through the television in the 1980’s.

Six illustrated panels tell the very beginning of Tiki and the invasion of the White Devil.  S/he is a glitter clad, gender ambiguous rock god/dess that explodes into Tiki’s life.  And changes everything.

These vector drawings are the product of an unfettered imagination and Adobe Illustrator. And a very good printer.

This exhibition is based on a very simple backstory of watching (far too much) late night television in the 80s. I used to watch a lot of rock gigs and um, I still do. I think the last one I watched was ‘It’s Alive’ The Ramones in 1977.

If you wanted to get serious for a minute (a very brief minute), then you could describe it as an exploration into bi-culturalism, colonialism and pop culture. All described in pop surrealist terms.

Wow, that was a lot of big words. Sorry about that, I’ll try not to do that again.

 

Tiki Stardust opens on Friday 9th October 2015 and closes Sunday 12 December 2015.

There are a limited number of catalogues for sale at the Museum.

 

May 1973

Another lady, imaginatively called May 1973.  She is named after the month she was vectored in. Another month, another t-shirt. With the year ‘1973’ tagged on afterwards. 1973 is a special year, not just because I was born then!

Yes, this one has a song attached to it

There’s this kick ass song called STAR WAR by Supershit 666. It was also recorded by the Backyard Babies. The lyrics go something like this:

I don’t need no doctor
No one’s got the cure for me
Cause i’m a heartbreaker
And a soulshaker
Since 1973

Star war
So watcha waitin’ for?

Awesome rock anthem, great to jump around to.  I may tend to over-identify with it.

The drawing

I drew May 1973 in my sketchbook (I have a whole lot that never make it to vector stage). She was part of the plan to  keep working in the style of Doris and Angie.  She’s got a big heart and shiny blue hair.  The May 1973 design is on my t-shirt store here.  This one is for all the Queens of the May. If you know a special lady who was born in May 1973, or even 1973 (mint year that it was), this shirt is just the thing! Ahaha, blatant selling gimmick 🙂

 

 

Angie

You know that song “Angie” by the Rolling Stones? Yeah, this one. I love it. I guess it was only a matter of time until I named a lady after that song.
I usually sing it to guys named Andrew. Especially if they hate being called Andy. I’m good fun like that.

Angie was drafted up at the same time as Doris. Doris may be in the gutter, but Angie is staring at the stars. I put the two ladies together on the front of a hoody. They’re partners in crime.
The original quote came from Oscar Wilde’s “Lady Windermere’s Fan”;

We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars

Obviously I fucked up the quoting verbatim bit and used ‘staring’ instead of ‘looking’. I’m an artist, I can be creative like that. Lol.

If you like Angie on her own, you can purchase the t-shirt here.

For you TJ sailors, the hoody is for sale here

 

Papa Tawhai pop art portrait

This is a whanau illustration, of my maternal grandfather, Tawhairiri.  He was one of the last cowboys. A real legend, in his grand daughters’ eyes. The first picture is a portrait from 1993, at his last family Christmas with us. Papa Tawhai passed away in 1994. I named my son after him, Tawhairiri. Or Tawhai, for short. While I was growing up, he lived in a converted school house at Bartletts (about 30 km south of Gisborne). His father is buried in the family cemetery there.

This was an experiment in pop art portraiture. Hopefully more Johnny Romeo than Andy Warhol. The colours were inspired by the land and seascapes around Whareongaonga, Tawatapu (Bartletts), Wharerata and Muriwai, all south of Gisborne. For more information about the whenua and moana, please visit Te Iwi o Ngai Tamanuhiri on their website or facebook page.

A framed digital print featured in the tribal exhibition, Toi Tāmanuhiri,  at Te Muriwai Marae in 2013.  It’s shown in one of the photographs, alongside art pieces made by my older brother and sister.

NFS

 

 

 

Doris

Introducing Doris, the first of her name.  The lead-in lady for a series about rocknroll women that I’ve been wanting to draw for ages.  I wanted some strong looking wahine to go with the Turbojugend koruru shirt design. They could stand on their own as strong identities or together as one unified piece.  And our Doris is the first of these.

She’s a green lady, with long flowing hair. I don’t necessarily want to reinforce female stereotypes (far from it), I like drawing long hair because there’s lots of lines. And I like linework in vectors. They’re really relaxing to draw. Doris is comfortably seated on the back of a manaia, swathed in a red ribbon that reads ‘In the Gutter‘.  A nod to the Black Chrome song ‘Free Peep from the Gutter‘, and a bit of Oscar Wilde, too.

Doris is an old nickname. My punk rock gutter mates would use it to describe a certain type of girl who loves to do her hair and put on loads of makeup. Cough cough splutter.  This was referred to as ‘Doris-ing about’.

“Has Mel finished Doris-ing about, yet? Better pour us another drink, mate”

‘Dorises’ show up at your regular DIY punk gig, loaded with cider and ready to hear some fucking great music.  It had better be fucking great, otherwise we’re going back to the toilets to put on more eyeliner!

Here’s some photos – of Doris the digital file, Doris the Print, Doris the Shirt and Doris the Shirt being worn at a gig by Jamaine Corpse in Black Chrome.  Doncha just love the way these things go round in circles. Thanks for your support, mate!

Black Chrome photos are by Alex from Long Nights, Short Fuses, and are used here with his permission.

If you want a Doris Shirt, visit my Print Mighty store. If you want a Doris print – I have the last of 3 – please contact me.

Turbojugend Aotearoa U-666 shirt design

Well, weren’t we all about the Turbojugend at this time of year? You’d almost think it was Christmas!

This is a t-shirt design that I worked on in 2012, specifically for Turbojugend Aotearoa U-666. It’s something that I started a while ago, and is basically a reworking of the mask face I painted a few years ago. You can look at that here.

Inspiration

This time, I got all fancy and vector-fied it in Adobe Illustrator. Inspiration for this shirt came from the Hinematioro pou that visited the Tairawhiti Museum earlier this year.
Hinematioro was a high-born lady who was alive around the time Captain Cook ‘discovered’ New Zealand in 1769. There’s plenty that has been written about her, follow the link on her name and learn yourself some East Coast history.
I wanted to use pre-European Māori art and use it to tell a story from contemporary times, with plenty of contemporary touches, of course.

Design

I looked at the facial structure of the pou and the lattice-like work around her.
I imagined that the lattice structures were really small manaia working their way around the face, but attached, like hair.  Mmmm, writhing hair pieces…
Then I added the Turbojugend peak cap, some makeup and ANA!
There she is. Baleful one-eyed glare and all.  I used purples and greens on a navy shirt to get that whole underwater feeling, adding a few highlights to try and mimic the way sunlight bounces off objects in the water.

But what are the manaia getting up to? They look like a bunch of mischief, madness and mayhem…! A bit like the Turbojugend…

So here are the photos. They are all of the shirt itself, there were no prints made of this design. I have included some pictures of Yours Truly wearing the shirt at the Turbonegro gig in Melbourne this year. ROCK!

You can purchase this shirt from my Print Mighty store.

The link is here: http://aotearoa666.printmighty.co.nz/products/turbojugend-aotearoa-u-666-ladies-navy 

 

Electric Frankenstein

This is my latest poster commission. It’s quite different to anything I’ve done before.  I seem to always get carried away with the details, and as you can see, this poster is no exception.

Do you want the long story? OK then.

At the end of last year, Sal Canzonieri asked me to create a poster for his band, Electric Frankenstein.  They are an awesome punk rocknroll band from New Jersey, USA.  Electric Frankenstein created their own art book, which featured the best rocknroll poster artists.  Sal asked if I would like to be included in the next one. Naturally, I jumped at the chance.  Once I’d picked myself up again (jumping was never my natural talent), I started out.

The brief was for a Psychedelic Zombie BBQ fest that they had played at.  There were zombie go-go girls with hula hoops, I was asked to add a Frankenstein girl barbequing, and to tie it all together with the band, a rocknroll Frankenstein.

So I came up with a rocknroll Frankenstein at the bottom, while a Frankenstein girl and her zombie mate watch over the BBQ. Which happens to be going on inside Frank’s head.  The Frankenstein girl is carefully lifting out his (electric) brains, while the blue zombie girl looks on and salivates.  Because zombies love brains!

Meanwhile, Frankie isn’t bothered by what’s going on. That’s how tough he is. I bet you he doesn’t care what type of smarties he eats first either.  And besides, he’s got hula hooping zombie girls popping out of his head. Who doesn’t have hula hooping zombie girls on their mind?

This poster took quite a while to complete.  I had no time constraints and was able to work on it until I was totally satisfied with what I had done.  If you can’t tell by now, I really enjoyed working on it.

 

The book was released in March 2014 and it’s called “It’s Only Rock n Roll but I like it”. La la la like it. Mate.

A brief description
“This volume is another brain-frying collection nearly as big as a Marshall stack showing an up-to-the-minute cross-section of today’s booming rock poster scene, showcasing hundreds of works by top poster artists from every dive, hellhole, dungeon, and landfill from sea to shining sea, creating a deafening visual tribute to just about every goddamn cool band you can imagine! Get kicked in the eyeballs and give your sensibilities the beating they so richly deserve! Grab this amazingly cool collection of the wildest Rock Art you have ever seen!”

I’ve got a 2 page spread and you can find me in the index under my real name, Melanie Tahata.

Amazon link:
http://www.amazon.com/Its-Only-Rock-Roll-Like/dp/1482391538/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1362344137&sr=1-3

Mauri Ora!