Te ‘Au o Tagaloa

This collaborative project held it’s finale on Thursday 22 June 2017.

Following on from the successful Matariki series last year with Nafanua, Te ‘Au o Tagaloa closed a week of workshops. The week itself featured tatau, tapa making and Pacific fono.

The week was well supported by the local community, Te Wānanga o Aotearoa, Te Puni Kōkiri and Tairāwhiti Museum.

Included with this post are photos of our rangatahi and kaumatua performing. Once again my primary role was to produce visual imagery for the background.  But I also did the costumes, marketing, financial management and funding applications, because I’m awesome and can do everything. Lol!

This piece is a homage to Pele – Creator of New Lands:

Taku Kuia

Taku Kuia was held at a local pop-up gallery in central Gisborne.  Curated by Isobel Te Rauna,  the show featured female artists honouring their grandmothers. Here are photos of the two pieces I made – digital portraits of my wonderful nannies. Bonus pic of my father with the portrait of his Mum!

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.

 

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

 

 

 

Tekau

Tekau means Ten in Te Reo Māori.  There are ten brushes in this picture, one is black, with a bright slash of magenta and a blob of faux ink in the right hand corner.  This picture, and the brushes, illustrate my whakapapa (genealogy) on my father’s side.

So, what is this? It’s not a skull, or a pretty rocknroll girl. It’s a brush, this is my brush, this is how I want my brush, one of my favourite tools, to look.  My Māori brush – styled in the form of a taiaha. This is my ultimate weapon of choice.  This drawing was originally done in pen and ink, then developed in Adobe Illustrator.

It featured in the Toi Tāmanuhiri exhibitions in 2013.  There are 4 prints in total. All have sold except one. If you are interested in buying, please contact me.

Nga mihi

Gnosis

Gnosis was a group exhibition featuring work by Mary MacGregor-Reid, Math Kabryn, Melanie Tahata (that’s me!), Joel Bradley, Jared Holland, Abby Helasdottir and Steven Johnson Leyba.
It was held at at Nature: Art + Design, Newton, Auckland, from 18 October to 16 November, 2013.

Gnosis basically means to develop your own mode of deep critical thinking, maybe investing time in some esoteric or occult theories. Anyway, I was invited to be a part of this exhibition, by old friend and fellow Art School Girl of Doom, Mary MacGregor-Reid. I produced 3 large posters for the exhibition. They were all done in the style of the star skulls that I posted about here.  This post is packed with photos, so I’ll stop blithering and get on with it.

The Art

Pics of the prints at home,  hanging in the gallery in Auckland and a glimpse of my artists’ statement. A post about the Goat skull design is here.

The Venue

This is where the Nature gallery was, on St. Benedict’s Street in Newtown. Beautiful Auckland, days like that made me miss you.

The Opening

This is obviously the fun bit. Hanging out with friends, old and new, was really awesome.  Thank you to everyone who came along, Mary for being awesome and Jared at Nature for currating the show.

Matariki

Almost exactly a year ago, I drew this design to celebrate Matariki.  (I’ve been furiously blogging a storm up in June 2014 to try and get this site up to date with my work – but have back dated everything).

Matariki, for me, is generally a time to reflect on those who have passed on, and the new year that awaits us. Unsurprisingly, it happens in the middle of winter, pretty close to the Winter Solstice.

So of course I thought a nice skull was in order. With eyes. One possible translation of Matariki is ‘the eyes of God’ so I took this literally in a pop-surrealist way.  There’s seven wrapped in this ghoul’s hair, representing each star of the Matariki (Pleiades) cluster. And some blue frosty breath, leading to more representations of stars up above the banner. I like stars. I use one as a logo. Ahurr. The banner says Aotearoa 666, because well, why the hell not. Probably more user-friendly than Mel RULZ, innit.

Just to reach back in time again, I ran a giveaway on my Facebook page. And I gave away this hoody (which I photographed first before I sent it off to the winner in Australia) for Matariki! Awww, ain’t I nice. I usually like to do things that coincide with my birthday or Matariki. Something for everyone. It used to be having a gig, but now it’s all about the art, baby!  Any excuse for a piss-up. In the spirit of totally contradicting myself,  I’m not bothering to do a Facebook giveaway this year. I’m waiting until I get over one thousand likes before I start handing out the treats again.  Seems like a worthy goal, plus I can procrastinate over what to give away for the rest of the year.

Here’s some pics of the final design, and the hoody blowing in the wind. You can get an idea of how the printing process translates into fabric. It’s still something that’s a bit mysterious to me, pretty sure a visit to the printer would cure my curiousity.  If you’d like to own of these – and I’m confident that you will ROCK IT – you can check out my t-shirt store here

Nga mihi mahana

 

 

Poster Ghouls

Poster Ghouls – chicks who are skulls with hair wot have flames and hearts and were built (for speed) to go on rock n’ roll posters.
I always thought my Deathpunk Ghoul looked a little lonely, so I drew some friends for her.

The first one is Tweeti Pai – a Maori transliteration of Sweetie Pie. She’s purple, she’s in love with the world and she’s not just wearing her heart on her sleeve. They’re in her hair, her eyes, or floating beside her.  She was a lot of fun to draw, after a caffeine fuelled weekend, I believe. I tried not to go toooo overboard on the skull detailing, because I thought she might look like she had stubble! (Sorry DPG, you’re still beautiful in my eyes). If you like the look of her shirt, you can buy one here.

Her friend is the Flame Ghoul. Yes, I did listen to Firewoman by The Cult rather a lot while I drew this. And the colours were definitely inspired by Flame Princess in Adventure Time. What would Flame Princess look like if she was a skull ghoul who listened to The Cult? Look no further. I gave her a Maori name too – Hana for Flame. You can find her here.

Check out these Love Skulls! Again.

Do you remember the Love Skulls paintings? I wrote about them here.

Well, I vectorised the second painting I did, in Adobe Illustrator.  Flash, aye bay?!?!  Now you can buy prints, iphone covers, laptop covers, and t-shirts from Red Bubble (good if you live in Australia) or Society6 (Stateside).

Here’s a couple of pics showing the old and the new, plus a product mockup of the iPhone on Society6.

Yurp, artist sites, I have been joining them. No doubt plenty of my other stuff will show up here too. Some of them I will only turn into prints (like the gig posters) some of my other stuff will be available as things you use wot to put on your gadgets.

And t-shirts… always the t-shirts!

 

Mauri Ora!

 

 

 

Tiki Rerea!

Tena koutou katoa!

Since I last posted here I have been busy doing my thang. I’ve now gone to two Craft Markets in Gisborne and enjoyed both of them. I’m looking forward to August’s market.  Over the last year or so, I’ve started making hair clips again. I used to make clips over a decade ago, just because I felt like it. Well, now I feel like it again.  It’s mainly because I can’t find the sort of things I like to wear, so in a true DIY spirit, I make my own. I’ve developed a new found appreciation for tiki and have paired them with various other items that I would like to wear in my hair.

I made the skull flower the Deathpunkfest ghoul is wearing in a poster from last year by cutting up a bracelet and a lei and adding the elements together.  I often make things that influence what I draw, or I draw something and then I make it.  Either way, it’s all conducive to the creative process.  I thought I would put that in there for people who get confused about what I do. I do everything! Preparing end of year financials, planning, making the art, photography, marketing. Everything! Haha, all that and I’m a mother too.

These flying tiki, or tiki rerea came about by combining glittery butterflies, plastic tiki and hair clips. I like to take things from popular culture and put my own take on it.  It’s a very Māori take, but with a good dose of fuck you attitude too. Orite ki a Maui, hahahahaha!   I’m never sure if other people would like to wear them, but I’m pretty stoked when they do.

These are all the tiki, past and present, that I have made to date. None of them are the same as any other, they are all individual little snowflakes.  They are unique, and are made for ladies who like to feel unique too.
Hey – how do you catch a unique lady? UNIQUE UP ON HER! 😀

The all black bow tiki is affectionately dubbed the Bela Lugosi tiki bow.  While I was making it, I kept humming ‘Bela Lugosi’s Dead‘ by Bauhaus.  You really can’t kill a vampire. They hang around forever.
Oh, and I included some clips I made from some specialty beaded fringing I’ve had for about as long too.

I have many other things on the go, namely three large vector projects. I’ll post them up when I am satisfied that they are finished.

Until then, if you would like to purchase a tiki, or see what else I have for sale, check my Facebook page.  Or leave a message below.  Be quick! People are baggsing them already. They are all NZ$20 plus shipping.

Mauri Ora ki a koutou! <3