• Ron Te Kawa

For six days and nights, the Matariki stars go to a place under the sea called Hīnātore. A phosphorescent world, Hīnātore is a place that exists to rejuvenate and grow the body, mind and spirit.

Fabric artist Ron Te Kawa sees Hīnātore as a personal place to inhabit during the creative process. It is an inner sanctum, a space and time.

In Hīnātore: A Love Story, Ron Te Kawa recreates this refuge for the gallery. Incorporating a sewing studio into the exhibition embodies Hīnātore as a realm of calm artistic energy.

Te Kawa’s unique quilting style continually explores mātauranga Māori, his whakapapa and atua wāhine (goddesses) through bold colour and a tactile application of materials. Breaking the rules of traditional quilt construction, all types of fabric are masterfully stitched together to illustrate scenes from his imagination, his history and the stories of the people influential to his life.

“My whakapapa quilts are an invitation to celebrate the fun, colour and magic of te ao Māori and all those things that fill my heart and heal my mind and spirit. Dance, connection to wairua and nature, whānau, whenua, stories, survival, resilience.”

Join Objectspace for workshops and activities in partnership with Bernina led by Te Kawa as part of the exhibition.


Maungarongo (Ron) Te Kawa of Ngāti Porou has been working prolifically in fashion, art, community development and education across Aotearoa New Zealand for decades. Using sewing as a conduit to connect with people, his legendary workshops have given countless participants the confidence to create and express with fabric.

Ron Te Kawa has exhibited throughout Aotearoa New Zealand including a solo exhibition in 2020 at Te Kōputu a te whanga a Toi, Whakatāne. He was awarded Best Futuristic Design at the 2006 Canterbury Fashion Awards, has been nominated for a Benson and Hedges Fashion award and in 2019 he was named the Adult Community and Education Aotearoa Māori Educator of the Year.

Hīnātore: A Love Story is part of Objectspace’s programme partnership with Ōtautahi public gallery CoCA Toi Moroki Centre of Contemporary Art which sees the organisations work together to develop and present exhibitions throughout 2021.

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