Working Gang (Red & Orange)

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Kauri Hawkins (b. 1995) is an emerging Māori artist whose work comments on contemporary New Zealand issues through a Māori lens. He works with materials as diverse as road signs, basketball jerseys, cigarettes and hi-vis, challenging these objects’ cultural significance as a means of self-reflection and expression.

In Working Gang (Red/Orange) Hawkins reflects on the symbolism of colours associated with groups of Māori men. The two wall hangings are made from cotton bandanas, a symbolic item used as a visual cue to establish group membership, usually gang affiliations. The inclusion of orange, suggesting the hi-vis uniform of roadworkers brings into the equation another prospect. This comparison suggests career prospects often posed to young Māori men. The bandanas are sewn into the pātiki tukutuku pattern, signifying the concept of providing for your whanau and Iwi. This large fabric banner was on display in ‘COMMONER’ a group show at St Paul St Gallery, Auckland.

Kauri Hawkins was born in Palmerston North and brought up in Turanganui-a-kiwa Gisborne. He has tribal affiliations to Ngai Tamanuhiri and Ngati Porou, Rongowhakaata and Ngati Pahauwera. He also descends from the Island of Aitiutaki in the Cook Islands. Since receiving a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Massey University, Wellington in 2017, Hawkins has shown in Wellington, Gisborne, and internationally, in Hobart, Tasmania.

Hawkins has exhibited alongside many leading New Zealand artists such as Prof. Robert Jahnke, Ngatai Taepa, Robyn Kahukiwa and John Walsh. His work is held in private collections in New Zealand and Australia. Hawkins will complete a Master of Fine Arts at Massey University Wellington in 2021.
Cotton fabric
1350 x 2700mm each
Registration number



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