Meet curator Ngahiraka Mason and artist Russ Flatt, with his newly commissioned project Destination Aroha at New Zealand Maritime Museum Hui Te Ananui a Tangaroa.
Destination Aroha is an installation of eight flags presented in the plaza at New Zealand Maritime Museum Hui Te Ananui a Tangaroa, commissioned for Te Tuhi’s major group exhibition A Very Different World.
Russ Flatt (Ngāti Kahungunu) makes staged photographs to create an environment to express and communicate an awareness of contemporary issues. Flatt’s careful and specific choice to work with models is a way to address identity and contemplate Aotearoa’s political realities, social constructs and ethnic diversity. The artist’s approach is situated in Victorian photography in the use of striking scenic backdrops, portraiture and photomontages and the examination of political themes. Flatt lives and works in Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland.
Ngahiraka Mason (Tūhoe, Te Arawa, Ngāti Pango) is an independent curator, critic and visual historian with research and curatorial interests in the material culture and histories of Polynesian peoples and community relationships with museums and collections. Mason is the former Indigenous Curator, Māori Art at Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki. Recent projects include Wānanga|Wānana at Bishop Museum, Honolulu (2019); Honolulu Biennial: Middle of Now/Here (2017); and the international touring exhibition Gottfried Lindauer’s New Zealand (2014-16). Mason is a founding trustee of the Wairau Māori Art Gallery Charitable Trust, Whangārei. Mason lives and works in Honolulu, Hawai‘i.
Destination Aroha and A Very Different World are presented by Te Tuhi in association with Auckland Arts Festival Te Ahurei Toi o Tāmaki and the New Zealand Maritime Museum Hui Te Ananui a Tangaroa.