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He Māra Oranga

Aroha Gossage · 'Sisters in the Garden'

He Māra Oranga

“This series of works are paintings of my whanau, who live on our ancestral land at Pakiri. The paintings show our family gardening and growing kai on the land.

The works also extend to the generations before us who occupied this place, our mothers and grandmothers and great-great grandmothers and so on from the beginning of time. It is about our people who have always remained here and about the continuation of many generations ahead of us who will continue to be kaitiaki of Pakiri. 

The precious matrilineal knowledge that our mother gave to us , of how to fish and how to grow kai, is so important to me. I feel it is part of our connection to our whenua. We move away, we live in two worlds, but we always return back to our hau kainga (homeland).

It was through my Mother that my sisters and I always remained connected. I love the concept of manaakitanga and communal ways of giving, sharing and looking after one another and providing for one another. 

My wish with this series, is that viewers will identify with the connections that we still maintain with our whenua and share a wider perception of the importance of retention and occupation”.

Aroha Gossage – 2020