Haerenga is an exhibition by Jess Nicholson, Moewai Rauputi Marsh and Madison Kelly, delving deep into whanaukataka strengthened through foraging for whenua. Opens on the 21st of November at Tini Whetu Project Space and hosted by
Evening Books. Come explore the show at 474 Princes Street, Otepoti.
Haerenga is an exhibition about whakawhanaukataka and whenua. Artists Jess Nicholson, Moewai Rauputi Marsh and Madison Kelly (all Kāi Tahu whanauka) went on a haerenga to Huriawa pā together earlier this year. Through exploring the home of their ancestors the foundations of their friendship strengthened.
Kōkōwai (or maukoroa) is a life line for many Māori artists today. It is with gratefulness that the artists and the gallery acknowledge the intelligence of our tupuna and the hard work of maintaining traditions of creating toi with whenua. People like Ross Hemera and Kauae Raro Research Collective are examples of doing the mahi and sharing the resulting (reka!) treats between ourselves. Jess, Moewai and Madison are all responding to a history of reciprocal giving via mahi toi; from our tupuna, whānau, and peers, all the way out to well deserving others in our communities.
It is an honour for Tini Whetū Project Space to exhibit new artworks from these artists and to support them in their work. The artworks all connect back to their haerenga and are firm reminders that Ōtepoti and its surrounding areas are and have always been Māori land. This is the final exhibition in the current location and iteration of Tini Whetū Project Space. It is a love letter from this northland Māori to all the Kāi Tahu whānau who have joined the journey of the gallery in the last two
2024 will hold more haerenga for us all and there are so many beautiful journeys to come.
Jess Nicholson (Kāi Tahu, Pākehā) is the maker behind Sick Ceramics. They are a self-taught ceramicist from Whakatāne currently studying Art and Design in Ōtepoti. Nicholson's practice focuses on cultural and environmental sustainability. They incorporate local and recycled materials into their work such as uku, kōhatu, sand, and ash to connect with their Kāitahutaka and te taiao.
Moewai Rauputi Marsh (Kāi Tahu, Kāti Huirapa, Ngāti Kahungunu ki te Wairoa) lives in Ōtepoti and studied at the Dunedin School of Art/Te Pukenga 2019. Marsh works with materials from her rūnaka and ancestral landscapes such as whenua pigments and invasive plants as well as other organic materials from Papatūānuku. She uses these materials to make paint and paper deepening her connection to the whenua and treating each resource as a taoka. Her practice is embedded with whakapapa as she seeks guidance from her tūpuna and her whānau. Recent exhibitions she’s been a part of were Ka Kore, Kua Kore with Aidan Taira Geraghty at Blue Oyster Project Space Ōtepoti 2023. Matairaki, Blue Oyster 2022 and
Paemanu Tauraka Toi – A Landing Place, Dunedin Public Art Gallery, 2021.
Madison Kelly (Kāi Tahu, Kāti Mamoe, Pākehā, b.1994) graduated from the Dunedin School of Art in 2017, with a BVA (Hons First Class) in drawing. Grounded in Kāitahutaka, and sensory experience, their Ōtepoti based practice explores recording, drawing, and percussion as embodied entry points for learning and sharing multispecies whakapapa. Alongside their art practice Kelly is a percussionist, and lead kaiārahi/guide at Te Korowai o Mihiwaka, Orokonui Ecosanctuary (Waitati, Otago).
Tini Whetū Project Space is an experimental gallery, hosted by Evening Books in Ōtepoti. Located at 474 Princes’ Street, Tini Whetū Project Space has an emphasis on creating space for Māori practitioners to exhibit and sell their work. This space is run by Piupiu Maya Turei (Wairarapa Moana).