Fresh From The Field — Whakapapa Walls by Johnson Witehira

3 weeks ago by

This Fresh From The Field by Johnson Witehira of Indigenous Design and Innovation Aotearoa is a playful and artful expression Māori-world views.

If you have new or recent work that you would like to share in Fresh from the Field email  nicole@designassembly.org.nz  for details.

The Brief:

This work, entitled Mahimahi, was commissioned by the QT Hotel Wellington as part of their ‘“Your Art. Our Walls” project. Johnson Witehira was tasked with creating something that was playful and fun, yet still grounded in Te Ao Māori (Māori-world views) and Toi Māori.

(Photo by Mark Tantrum/ http://marktantrum.com)

The Response:

Mahimahi is a verb in the Māori language that can mean; to copulate, have sex or make love. From a distance, the artwork appears like an innocuous pattern of tiki. Look closer though and you see figures of different gender and sexual orientation in coitus. Making sexual organs and activity explicit yet ambiguos is a strategy employed by Māori carvers following the arrival of missionaries in Aotearoa.

(Photo by Mark Tantrum/ http://marktantrum.com)

 



Up Next...

Practical and emotional advice for Aotearoa Designers

The core tenants of DA are to connect and celebrate our community. We want all Aotearoa Designers to live well and to flourish. Usually, when we write here, the DA team operates as a collective voice. Occasionally you’ll hear direct from Lou, our amazing founder. Or one of the local hosts making a shout out…

More from 'Auckland'...

Fresh From The Field — ATEED: Tū Mai by Fly

Ahead of our upcoming workshops with Johnson McKay (creative director at Fly), Johnson shared this Fresh From The Field. Tū Mai is a partnership between ATEED, the tourism industry and communities of Tāmaki Makaurau with the purpose of creating the best visitor experience in the world. Tū mai Tāmaki Makaurau! If you have new or…