027 A0790
“KIA WHAKATOMURI KI TE HAERE WHAKAMUA” (My past is my present is my future)

This research focuses on my connection to whanau (family) and to whenua (land). I used te reo in my narrative in each of these quilts as a way of expressing my internal voice and in order to acknowledge my Māori heritage. The three quilts kōrero Māori to whanau who had a significant impact on my upbringing.  My mother’s quilt “Tōku Māmā” is a narrative from my six-year-old self about being sick and crying out for my mother. My father’s quilt “Tōku Pāpā” speaks to a complicated relationship with my father, who had always thought I was someone else’s child. ‘Mahana o te aroha’ is a kōrero to my great uncle and aunty who cared for me and loved me and claimed me as their own child, whāngai, when my parents divorced. The quilts are connectors of a time and space and the aroha (love) and mahana (warmth) that I equate with my whanau wherever I may be. Wrapping my children and myself in these quilts shares the memory of the people I love again and again. What I discovered through this investigation was that the fabric that touches a body carries a Mauri (life-force) and is in imbued with Mana (prestige) by the maker. When it is bestowed on a living or dead person, the mana of the fabric increases along with the mana of the person it is intended for. I also discovered that the fabric that touches a body carries a whakapapa (genealogy), and is a time and place marker which give it taonga (preciousness) that connects the maker and the wearer.

027 A0769
Tōku Māmā” (My mother) Calico with black and red embroidery thread, cotton batting, calico backing.
027 A0770
“Mahana o te aroha” (Warmth of love) Black and cream cotton fabric, cream embroidery thread, cotton batting, calico backing.
027 A0772
“Tōku Pāpā” (My father) White print cotton, red cotton fabric, red and black embroidery thread, cotton batting, calico backing.
Video works Looped film at Awarua graveyard looped video recording, flat screen tv

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