Tawera Tahuri (Ngā Ariki Kaipūtahi, Whakatōhea, Ngāti Ūenuku, Tūwharetoa), artist and water activist. Her work 'Hikoi Haere' is a visual diary, a narrative of her Hikoi (march) for clean water earlier this year in Aotearoa, New Zealand. Works on view May 4- 29.
Tāwera Tahuri is a mixed media artist covering a wide range of mediums and techniques. Influenced by the work of both European and Māori, Caribbean artists alike such as Basquiat, Klee, Picasso, Kura Te Waru Rewiri and Emere Karaka, she has produced a prolific amount of work throughout her artistic career.
She is a mother of six children and is actively involved in her community as a teacher, and performer. Her seven-piece mixed media sculptural installation, exhibited in Italy, entitled “Tamanui. Seven Generations” is inspired by her iwi (Tribe) and the recent revival her people have experienced. Their Treaty Of Waitangi land Claim WAI 507 has been an integral part of this revitalization and this has been the basis of her recent bodies of work.
The Seventh Generation principle is an important component of the people of Tamanui (the eponymous ancestor of Ngā Ariki Kaiputahi) as it serves not only as a reminder of the wrongs of the past but also the hopes and aspirations of the future seven generations.
Her recent involvement as an exhibiting artist in the Florence Biennale, Italy has opened doors for Tāwera who now has an active exhibition calendar internationally. In 2012 Tāwera returned with her husband also a visual and performing artist to Evergreen State University in Olympia Washington State USA for another 6-week Arts residency. They both completed an earlier residency there in 2010.
Tāwera has also recently been appointed as a new Director of the Board of the Seventh Generation Fund for Indigenous Peoples based in California.
Her recent activism with regards to the water crisis and its sacred nature, ‘Hīkoi’ or land marches, in not only her own region but also that of the world has been integral to her most recent work.
Tāwera is currently studying for a PhD in Indigenous Studies with Te Whare Wānanga O Awanuiarangi. She also holds a BA from Toihoukura and MMVA from Massey University, NZ.