New Artwork Brings Auckland’s Papatūānuku and Ranginui Story to Life | 1 NEWS


Māoridom’s oldest story is told on a grand scale at Auckland’s Aotea Center.

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Lisa Reihana’s work Ihi is now an integral part of the Aotea Center in Auckland. Source: 1 NEWS

The work, by acclaimed artist Lisa Reihana, is a fresh take on the myth of creation.

There is nothing small about Ihi, splashed across two massive floor-to-ceiling screens.

It is a digital tale of the separation of Papatūānuku, Mother Earth, and her partner Ranginui.

“I think because of its magnitude I want people to want to know more. I want them to watch it and be excited about it,” Reihana told 1 NEWS.

“As a visual artist, I am able to bring some of these stories to life in a way that has probably never been seen before, but to give a sense of the beauty of our heritage.”

He explores the relationship between Papatūānuku and his son Tāne, with the work also commenting on the health of our environment.

“Our country has some amazing places, but there isn’t much left, so we have to defend it and take care of it,” Reihana said.

Commissioned by the Auckland regional facilities, it is now an integral part of the Aotea Center.

Auckland Art Gallery Director Kirsten Paisley called the work “absolutely revolutionary”.

“Size and scale – this is an architecturally scale video installation permanently installed in a public building,” she says.

“This is a first in Auckland.

Ihi is part of a process towards more art in public space.

“These types of Maori artwork are becoming more and more common in Auckland as people seek to find the city’s indigenous and Polynesian context,” said Dr Deidre Brown, art historian at the University of Auckland.

“We see it more and more in terms of public artwork, with Lisa Reihana being a prime example, and also in other places as well, public spaces such as new train stations that are being built. in the city center.”

Reihana has taken her critically acclaimed art to travel the world.

She is now working with luxury shoe maker Christian Louboutin on a project that has yet to be revealed.

But her heart is at home.

“I was able to leave a beautiful seed here, right in the center of the city that I love so much,” she says.

Ihi was unveiled tonight – but her story isn’t quite over, with the artist planning to add to it in the future.


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