Updated: May 4
My strength is not as an individual but as a collective
This mural has been a collaborative work pulled together by local schools across the North Shore under the umbrella of Pupuke Kāhui Ako. Our Kāhui Ako aims to create a rich, collaborative culture that unites schools, teachers, akonga and whanau, to work collectively on a common goal for the benefit of all.
The project has been led by local artist Emma Jane Ormsby of Ngāti Maniapoto and Ngāti Porou descent. Emma, is currently studying at Elam School of Fine Arts as well as Te Wananga ō Aotearoa, undertaking a major in Whakairo (Māori wood carving). Emma’s work is centered within the realm of Te Ao Māori, bringing together the traditional practices of Toi Māori and allowing them to evolve into contemporary forms.
Our Pupuke mural focuses on the natural beauty of Takapuna, incorporating Māori designs (kowhaiwhai, Tāmoko, Whakairo) within the natural world they are based. It alludes to the identity of place and the role which Toi Māori has alongside it. This work not only stands as a beautiful symbol of collaboration and ecology but also showcases Māori motifs, providing a platform for learning and understanding to take place between people.
The education required to produce this work enhances the kaupapa, allowing motifs such as unaunahi and pakati to be placed with care and understanding throughout the designs created by tauira. Working with the local tamariki has been central to this project, charging creativity and education, fostering an appreciation for toi Māori within the younger generation.
Overall, this work aims to inform a larger audience of the significance of Toi Māori, creating works with a Māori lens and outlook. The work is larger than any individual, it is the fruit of a collective creative community. E hara taku toa i te toa takitahi, he toa takitini.