Fresh From The Field — Ko Matariki Te Kairuuri – By Ira

9 months ago by

Design Assembly loves to profile the breadth and depth of design practice in Aotearoa. For July we’re celebrating Māori design, designers, and illustrators. 

Collaborating with Manawa Tapu to create a piece of art that featured a Matariki narrative unique to Tainui Waka, Ira walk us through the Ko Matariki Te Kairuuri experiential campaign for The Base Shopping Centre.


The brief

Te Awa The Base Shopping Center, owned by Tainui Group Holdings and Kiwi Property approached Ira to create an experiential campaign centred around Matariki.

One of our key objectives was to tell a rich story that captured a uniquely Tainui Waka relationship to Matariki. Another was to ensure we facilitated a moment of connection and cultural enrichment for The Base customers.

Photo of Sarai from Ira showing a child how to participate in weaving of the artwork
Detailed photo of a hand weaving the artwork
The Design Response

Ira saw this as an opportunity to revitalise regional Matariki stories as an expression of Māori mana motuhake (self-determination) and tuakiritanga (identity).

Ira collaborated with Manawa Tapu to create a piece of art that featured a Matariki narrative unique to Tainui Waka – ‘Ko Matariki Te Kairuuri’. In this narrative, Matariki is the child of Tama-nui-te-raa (the sun) and Te Raro (another name for Papatūānuku). Matariki follows the sun, marking the transition phases from winter to summer.

In the art we have depicted Matariki in the sky with her six children who each have a relationship with the environment. Mirrored on the earth is the sun and seven prominent maunga (mountains) of the Tainui region which represent the mana (strength) and identity of the hapū (sub tribes) and iwi (tribe). Flowing through the centre of the piece is the Waikato river, a symbol of the lifeblood and cultural identity of Tainui Waka.

The artwork is printed onto seven tukutuku panels. Participants are invited to participate by weaving traditional compositions to help complete the art and finishing the telling of the story.

Ira team standing in front of the artwork panels
People from the community interacting with the artwork by weaving a section.
People from the community interacting with the artwork by weaving a section.
The Design Team

Johnson McKay: Creative Director
Manawa Tapu: Contracted Artist
Storm Smith: Senior Creative
Sarai Morris: Cultural Strategist & Copywriter

https://ira.nz/
Instagram: @ira_aotearoa
Facebook: Ira Aotearoa
Linkedin: Ira Aotearoa

The Client Team

Stacey Kitchen: Marketing Manager at The Base
Jason Kereopa: Waikato Tainui representative

Client details

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thebaseshoppingcentre
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/thebasenz/
https://www.the-base.co.nz/en/


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