Art Installation

This year we are excited to run an art installation alongside the festival. The concept for 2022 is Kākahu Aroha (Cloaks of Love).

What is a kākahu?

What is a kākahu?

Kākahu is the general term for a Māori cloak (as well as an umbrella term that refers to garments). Some of you might know the term korowai and use that for cloaks – a korowai is a specific type of kākahu that has hukahuka (tassels). Feathered cloaks are known as kahu huruhuru. Kākahu encompasses all these forms.

Kākahu Aroha (Cloaks of Love): The concept

Kākahu offer spiritual as well as physical protection. We have created physical cloaks which we invite our community to decorate with small individual artworks at the Matariki Festival on 18 June. As the artworks accumulate on the kākahu, the kākahu aroha will take shape, with the kākahu becoming artworks that speak metaphorically of cloaking our tamariki in love. When all the kākahu aroha are viewed together, we hope everyone, especially tamariki, will gain a sense of belonging within the wider community.

There will be individual kākahu for local kura (schools) as well as one for the community. All will be identified with signage. They will be suspended, ready for decoration and lit with UV lighting.

Tamariki can bring artworks created prior to the festival to attach to their kākahu. Members of the community can also bring decorated feathers that they’ve cut from the Flagstaff or received in their letterbox – or download one above. Artworks don’t have to be feathers though! Make an artwork that expresses what Matariki means to you. This might include the three guiding principles of Matariki: remembrance, celebrating the present or looking to the future.

We strongly encourage you to use found/recycled/natural objects to make your artworks. This ensures that the installation fits within the kaupapa of our festival as well as aligns with the essence of Matariki, which is inherently connected to the natural world. There will also be a creative area in front of the installation where people can make an artwork with UV paint to add to their school kākahu or the community kākahu.

As the sun sets, each kākahu aroha will be lit with UV lights and some of the previously unseen details of the artworks will come to life. 

The exhibition incorporates many of the key values associated with Matariki including:

• Aroha – love and respect for one another

• Kotahitanga – Unity

• Tohatoha – Sharing

• Mana Taiao – Environmental awareness

• Noho tahi – Coming together

• Wānanga – Discussion and learning

• Ngākau Atawhai – Kindness

• Whakanui – Celebrations

• Tuakiritanga – Identity

With thanks to the Creative Communities Scheme, which has supported this project.

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