A fundraising exhibition celebrating Matariki through an artistic lens launches this week in Thames.
Curated by Bounty, a design store and gallery in Pollen St, the exhibition will feature ceramics, sculptures, paintings, contemporary weavings, jewellery, prints, and mixed media works by local and national artists. Bounty owner Fiona Cameron said the show had grown since its inception last year, and now included seven more artists.
“The first year, we had just come out of Covid, but we had a wonderful response from our artists and the Thames community,” she said.
“It’s grown this year and now I’ve probably got about 30 artists involved in the exhibition.”
Matariki is an important Māori celebration, signifying the start of the New Year in Māori culture. Fiona said it was often a time to reflect, to look to the future, and come together to share stories.
“Matariki is a very important time for Māori, but it’s also an opportunity to explore the different ways people can share their culture and heritage,” she said.
“In a creative sense, my artists can explore all those themes in their work. It’s a celebration unique to New Zealand.”
Fiona has been a gallery owner for 25 years. She grew up on the Coromandel and had always celebrated Matariki, she said. “Last year when we had our opening, it blew me away… and I really feel that next year, with Matariki being a public holiday, it’ll be such a joy for us as a nation to recognise the Māori New Year.
“We’re all part of this nation, and it’s lovely to be able to honour that.”
The show also doubles as a fundraiser for St Francis School in Thames. The students have their own exhibition at The Vibe, Mary St, opening at 2.30pm this Thursday, June 24 and running for two weeks.
DETAILS: Matariki Art Exhibition, opening night: June 25, 5pm-7pm, at Bounty, 754 Pollen St, Thames, running until July 17. All proceeds to St Francis School. By KELLEY TANTAU