Mata Aho Collective
Te Whare Pora, 2012
(Installation shot) Image courtesy of the artists
Te Whare Pora embodies a house of learning and is customarily a space for obtaining knowledge pertaining to fibre arts, primarily weaving. The atua of Te Whare Pora is Hineteiwaiwa who holds authority over the arts pursued by women. We understand Te Whare Pora to be a state of being as opposed to a physical location.
In our work Te Whare Pora, the faux mink blanket is employed as a vehicle to explore customary notions of wānanga, contemporary marae styles and women's experiences. The faux mink blanket speaks of a kitsch aesthetic reminiscent of velvet paintings, once popular for their renditions of the dusky maiden. Now common on marae throughout the country, the 'minkie' has come to represent warm, plush beds within the wharenui. These blankets also act as a commentary of the current day economy; they are manufactured offshore using synthetic materials and cater to specific markets by using identifiable kowhaiwhai patterns and the tino rangatiratanga flag.