In the company of legends

Internationally-renowned: Kiwi artists Kristin O’Sullivan Peren and her former colleague Wi Taepa, whose exhibition ‘Īnakinaki’ opens at Te Atamira tonight

A group of legendary New Zealand artists are converging on Queenstown’s Te Atamira this weekend.

The final public programme for the arts and culture centre’s inaugural ‘Summer in the South, Raumaki ti Tonga’ exhibition includes a talk by Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki curator emeritus Mary Kisler MNZM, who’ll discuss how the Whakatipu region’s inspired art in New Zealand and beyond, and the opening of ‘Īnakinaki’, featuring works by Wi Taepa ONZM and local artist Kristin O’Sullivan Peren, curated by Gina Matchitt.

The exhibition, opening tonight at 5.30, reconnects Peren with her former colleague — a celebrated master of Māori clay art, with a career spanning over 30 years — exploring their diverse practices of uku (clay), printmaking and digital light coding.

Taepa, Te-Roro-o-Te-Rangi, Te Arawa, Te Āti Awa, has exhibited widely nationally and internationally.

His works are predominantly hand-built using coil, slab or pinch-pot techniques, and are held in the Museum of NZ Te Papa Tongarewa, Auckland Art Gallery and The Wallace Arts Trust.

Peren, a multimedia artist born in Rotorua and now based in Central Otago, is often drawn to subjects around waste.

Her work explores the colonial past and the acceleration of climate change and its link to humans — she has been exhibited in Ireland,
Australia, England and NZ.

Bringing it together is Matchitt, Te Arawa, Te Whakatōhea, a Māori jeweller, weaver, curator and artist.

Inspired: Īnakinaki curator Gina Matchitt

Also from Rotorua, she studied jewellery at Unitec School of Design and Māori Visual Arts at Toioho ki Apiti, Massey University.

Drawing on her iwi affiliations, her work’s a fusion of Māori and Pākeha practice, knowledge and concepts.

Following the exhibition opening, there’s a curator’s talk at Te Atamira on Saturday, from 3.30pm, which is followed at 5pm by Kisler’s presentation.

Deep diving: Auckland Art Gallery curator emeritus Mary Kisler

An expert in the work of early 20th century southern-born NZ painter Frances Hodgkins, Kisler will take a deeper dive into her work, and that of her contemporary, Sydney Lough Thompson.

Her talk costs $55 for waged and $45 for unwaged, while the Īnakinaki exhibition opening and curator’s talk are both free to attend.

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