Toi Poneke Gallery, 61 Abel Smith Street, Wellington

05/06/2021 - 26/06/2021

Production Details

TE MAURI O PŌHUTU is a new series of collaborative installation and time-based artworks by Bianca Hyslop, Rowan Pierce and Tūī Matira Ranapiri Ransfield.

The work responds to the loss of mātauranga Māori due to cultural interruption and assimilation.

It is a sensual offering that addresses the fragility of memory, connection to whenua and reclamation of culture from within foreign frameworks.
TE MAURI O PŌHUTU will be installed and exhibited at Toi Pōneke Arts Centre Gallery opening Kia Mau Festival 2021 on 04th June and closing on 26th June.

Co-Creators Bianca Hyslop, Rowan Pierce & Tūī Matira Ranapiri Ransfield

Te Reo Māori , Maori contemporary dance , Digital presentation , Dance , Cultural activation ,

20 mins

Tension, reflection and dissipation.

Review by Deirdre Tarrant 22nd Jun 2021

A hidden gem in a very busy city – Kia Mau, the Pacifica Collective, the French Film Festival, Loemis – so much to see and there has been a wonderful diversity of winter experiences for us to attend. Bravo to all creators and organisers,  Wellington is buzzing and busy. 
Quietly happening in Able Smith Street in a calm and darkened Poneke Gallery are works to challenge our cultural understanding. Can we reclaim culture within foreign frameworks? What does this mean?
We are a nation of cultural assimilations and this exhibition addresses connections,  memory, interruption, collision, tension and seeks to inform progression. A big ask and the fragility of such questioning is inherent in the works.

TE MAURI O PŌHUTU is a series of collaborative Installation and time based artworks by the superb talents of Rowan Pierce,  Bianca Hyslop and Tūī Matira Ranapiri-Ransfield and each happening/work  affects us and pushes our sensibilities. I retain  a number of images in my mind as I write – in particular the sulphur sculpture Maunga Punga- werewera and the chalk  wall work Whakarewarewatanga-o-Te-ope-Tara-a-Wahiao.
These both reflect the temporary nature of our quest and of our experiences. As a part of the media works and videos there is also a live activation using movement. Created for the intimate and fragile space and cognisant of the interruption that is a reality in our cultural history – this is a duet danced by Bianca Hyslop and Paige Shand.
There is a real empathy with the installations and with the space that contain the dance yet the dance is powerful in its own right. Strong,  considered,  using very clear structures and breaking both their hold on the body and the movement’s hold on them, this collaboration has intriguing exploration elements yet delivers clear and consummate opinion.  With elegant  lines and beautifully costumed TE MAURI O PŌHUTU honours both Bianca’s grandmother ‘Ginger’ and the geyser Pōhutu, in a historical positioning of Rotorua and the memories evoked to inform the choreographic presence. Phrases are meticulously crafted, used and reused.

There is always tension, reflection and dissipation. There is an interesting use of film and there is no resolution . This works reaches out to us and as the dancers simply walk out the door they leave questions in the dark gallery air. For us to ponder…. Uncertainty is the way both forward and back ? 
I certainly have been left to ponder and in my own family have been part of a generation deterred from passing on cultural DNA. This powerful exhibition and this dance strike a strong chord. 
Kia Mau has been an opportunity to think and Te Mauri o Pohutu is a very special work in this acculturation that  is our nation – Aotearoa. Thank you 


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