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Out of the Black

The setting of the sun, darkness, night, and the abode of the dead are translations of the Maori word ‘po' that lends itself to Nikora Tori Te Kahu and Rangimarie Makowharemahihi-Pahi's installation Po! Po!. Installed in small, black-walled gallery at Tairawhiti Museum the space is dominated by a large shank of cobalt blue threads suspended from the ceiling. Small wooden symbols glint among the threads while a multitude of knotted threads suggestive of human forms subside in one corner. A striking portrait of a matriarch made up of sharp, angular planes hangs from the back wall. Po! Po! acknowledges pouri (sorrow) the artists have come to know through generations of memories, say notes to the exhibition. “We, as women, are the ukaipo, the nurturing element for all – yet – where is our sanctum? Here we aim to provide a space for self healing and reflection.”

• Po! Po! Tairawhiti Museum, ends September 6.

Picture by Liam Clayton