1989 See full details
During her time at the University of Canterbury she was tutored by Don Peebles and Bill Sutton and graduated in 1973 with a Diploma in Fine Art (Honours) majoring in painting. Her honours year was supervised by Rudi Gopas and her thesis focused on pre-European Māori art, specifically stone tool carving. Kura states:
“At the time it was restricting for Māori women to research carving because of the restriction of [it] being a male-only area. Today we are informed by Tohunga Whakairo that women have always carved. As Māori women we have to redefine our past so that we know where we stand now.”
During the mid-1980s Kura and her contemporaries such as Shona Rapira Davies, Robyn Kahukiwa and Emily Karaka gave voice to the concerns surrounding Māori women's sovereignty. Megan Tamati-Quennell writes, "The space Te Waru Rewiri and her contemporaries occupied was really that of mana wāhine Māori".
Influenced by the Ratana religious and political movement, her expressive paintings explore the effects of colonisation and portray the significance of taonga Māori. As curator Nigel Borell writes, "Kura Te Waru Rewiri's painting practice has forged new ways to understand and appreciate the scope of contemporary painting informed by Māori realities, beliefs and paradigms."
Kura uses symbols and techniques from traditional Māori art and custom in her works, such as Kowhaiwhai patterns, weaving imagery, and Tā moko patterns. In many of her works, her brushstrokes emulate the motions found in carving and weaving. A recurring image seen in Kura's works is the cross, which carries many different meanings depending on its context and treatment. Kura's use of traditional Māori art combined with the techniques of contemporary art results in a contrast between new and old that has made her work distinctive and celebrated within New Zealand.
Frame: hxwxd; 995 x 780 x 25mm
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