• Abigail Aroha Jensen and Georgina Watson

Artspace Aotearoa is proud to present Manawa i te Kāniwha as its first mural project since the gallery’s relocation to ground level on Karangahape Road. Responding to the T junction of Karangahape Road and East Street in Newton, the mural project reflects the dynamism and flamboyance of this historically layered place, whilst staying attuned to the intent of making new histories with those who have a socio-political responsibility to its future.

Manawa i te Kāniwha is a collaborative project by Georgina Watson and Abigail Aroha Jensen. Through the use of paint and kōkōwai, these artists visualise western spatial understandings and ‘givens’ over place; an indivisible whole, embedded and imbued with its own agency and responsibility to Te Ao Māori.

Focusing on the wrought iron gate, a symbol linked to imperial power, proprietorship, and the divide between common good and privatised stakeholders, the artists bring to light that the ornate and decorative may not be as innocent as it may first seem.

Abigail Aroha Jensen (Ngāti Porou, Ngāi Te Manuhiri, Te Whanau-a-Ruataupare, Te Whanau-a-Tuwhakairiora, Belfast and Ballymena)

Currently based between Kirikiriroa and Tāmaki Makaurau, Abigail Aroha Jensen has recently completed her honours at Toihoukura in Turanganui-a-kiwa. Recent projects include the group show Hauhake a collective response to honouring the friendship between Hone Tuwhare and Ralph Hotere and her ongoing project Ngā Haki o te Tangata, (Whiri whiria muka Tangata) - an exploration into wānanga whilst threading layers of tuakiri to reflect on places of belonging in Aotearoa. Abigail’s upcoming group show, Occupation, opens at RM gallery in march with Avigail Allan and Naomi Allan.

Georgina Watson (Ngāti Porou, Ngāti Mutunga, Moriori, Portuguese, French and British)

Watson recently returned to Aotearoa after undertaking the Maumaus Art School Independent Research Project in Portuga. She is currently living in Tāmaki Makaurau. Recent projects include Eternal Girlhood of the Settler State (May Fair Art Fair in collaboration with Tyson Campbell, 2020).