More Maori Contemporary Art on new season of Kete Aronui

28 03 2007

Kete Aronui
The beautiful and breathtaking world of contemporary Maori art is set to be profiled once more in a new series of KETE ARONUI, premiering on Maori Television on Tuesday April 3 at 8.00 PM.

Each of the 26 episodes of KETE ARONUI focuses on the life and work of one individual, couple or group who blends culture and creativity to excel in their chosen art form.

Based throughout Aotearoa, these talented Maori artists work in a wide range of genres – from raranga (weaving), whakairo (carving) and ta moko to film-making, music, dance and multi-media.

Many are award-winning and all have broken new ground in their field of expertise, inspiring future generations of Maori artists. To put them at ease with the cameras, they are filmed in their own environments as they talk about their lives, whanau, inspirations and work.

This fifth series of KETE ARONUI, produced by Kiwa Productions, premieres with a profile of Kora, the popular dub-reggae band from Whakatane.

Made up of the four Kora brothers – Brad, Laughton, Francis and Stuart – and Dan McGruer, Kora gigged hard and won a dedicated fan base following before bursting onto the national music scene in 2002 with the song ‘Politician’.

After backing Shihad and Salmonella Dub, and on the brink of releasing their first album, Kora is being tipped for big things overseas. But as KETE ARONUI reveals, these brothers will always remain true to their origins.

The second episode of KETE ARONUI is a profile of iconic entertainer Tina Cross. Raised in South Auckland, Tina’s love of performing was sparked by winning a talent quest at the age of 10.

She went on to become a regular of New Zealand television and the pop charts for many years, and even made it big in Australia with a hit single. Now 48 and performing as much as ever, Tina reflects on her path from humble urban beginnings to the world of stage and screen.

The third episode comes back down-to-earth with clay artists and friends Jane Matua and Mihi George.

Jane uses unprocessed clay from her tribal whenua, and gets whanau to put handprints into her pieces. As she transforms clay, she talks about the transformation of her own body in the last year through weight loss.

Mihi experiments with stamps into clay as a symbol of colonisation and creates stunning chess pawns in the form of wahine.

These two women support and encourage each other as they work towards their goal of taking their art home to Waiariki Institute of Technology in Rotorua, where their journey began.

Other artists featured on KETE ARONUI include composer Ruia Aperahama, who researches and uses traditional Maori instruments; dancing sensations Taane Mete and Tai Royal; award-winning painter Israel Birch; hip hop pioneer Dean Hapeta; female ta moko artist Henriata Nicholas; jeweller Areta Wilkinson; extraordinary film pioneer Merata Mita; sculptor Fred Graham; and weaver Kahutoi Te Kanawa, who describes completing her first korowai (cloak) as ‘like getting my degree in weaving’.

See, hear and experience contemporary Maori art through the unique series that blends culture and creativity, KETE ARONUI, premiering on Maori Television on Tuesday April 3 at 8.00 PM.

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