E Aotearoa : actually made in N.Z. : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Fine Arts at Massey University, Wellington, Aotearoa

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This exegesis serves to tautoko, reverberate and enrich my concerns that currently inform my creative practice in Aotearoa. A central motivation for me is to gain a deeper understanding of myself through making artworks that reflect my observations, experiences and how I process the socio-cultural and political dynamics of New Zealand. I give a brief insight into who I am and where I come from which helps to inform the positions I take. By tracing and exploring my whakapapa, I position and connect myself along the Māori Art continuum. Through translating whakapapa narratives into animations using a time based media methodology, I coin a term Tuhi Tūrehurehu Hōhonu - Deep Digital Abstraction. I acknowledge the loss of Te Reo and Te Ao Māori knowledge within my whānau and my journey learning Te Reo Māori continues to awaken my taha Māori. I attend to tiresome requests to perform indigeneity and reflect the socio-cultural dynamics experienced by working in the Arts sector of Aotearoa. The commemorations of Captain Cook in 2019 are critiqued as further perpetuating colonisation and my observations of the appropriated Māori image are pulled into question. The artworks I present conflate my feelings, tensions and relationships that reside at the interstice within my lived experience in Aotearoa, those which I observe through the lens of dual Māori and Pākehā whakapapa. I create artworks across a range of media including video, photography, animation, sculpture and song that offer critique and pathways forward.
Māori Masters Thesis