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He Pouaka Rama - Pillars of Light by Miriama Grace-Smith

*Upcoming events are subject to change

  • 26th

    Today, 10.00am - 5.30pm.

  • Centre Court. View Map

Check out our Matariki display in centre court this week with artwork by Miriama Grace-Smith representing the nine stars within the Matariki constellation grounded by a native NZ forest garden.

Matariki: He Pouaka Rama

Pillars of Light by Miriama Grace-Smith

Whanake mai ngā mata o te ariki. Whanake mai te tohu o te tau. Whanake mai Matariki hunga nui!Arise the eyes of the god. Arise the signs of the year. Arise Matariki who gathers the masses! The reappearance of the Matariki stars signals the beginning of the Māori New Year. In He Pouaka Rama the nine stars are each represented by a pillar, placed according to the star’s position in the cluster.

For Māori, traditionally astronomy was interwoven into all facets of life. Astronomical observations were recorded and handed down from generation to generation. This knowledge was connected to seasonal activities such as planting and harvesting, the flowering of plants, the spawning of fish and the natural cycles of the environment. Each pillar holds a contemporary pou referencing their unique meaning and associations.

During Matariki, the gaze is not only directed at the stars above but also on the whenua (land) below. The native forest garden surrounding the pillars represents the connection between early and celestial.

About the artist

Miriama Grace - Smith
(Ngāti Hau, Ngāti Maniapoto, Ngāti Toarangatira and Ngāti Porou)

Miriama Grace-Smith is a full-time artist, she is based in Pōneke Wellington where she works from her studio at Toi Pōneke. Miriama dabbles in a few different areas within the creative arts, as a curator, muralist, illustrator, fashion designer, film costume and art director.
She is a member of Dream Girl’s Art Collective and designs in collaboration with New Zealand brand Moana Rd.

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