To Learn, To Bloom, To Teach
In Te-Ao-Maori (the Maori world) we know ako as a concept which is based on a reciprocal learning process. This means both the educator and learner grow from new knowledge and understanding through the interactions of shared experiences. This method of sharing builds caring, loving relationships which empowers the learner to stand tall so they may shine in their own pumanawa moe - full potential. In other words, the learner becomes the educator and the cycle of knowledge and understanding passes over to the next generation.This artowrk conveys a story about a Kaiwhatu (weaver) and her korowai (cloak) - there are many countless hours spent collecting and processing the natural fibres before she begins her time consuming task of weaving her elaborate creation, which will take months, if not years, to complete. Her fingers , so meticulous with their repetitive movement, her fluid motions, whatu after whatu (weave after weave), she is the story teller constructing her vision with her skilled hands - bringing the korowai (cloak) to life. The fibres cling tightly to each other, merging, shaping, connecting to form one body. It is coming alive, breathing, experiencing its immediate surroundings of each moment of its progressive development. Row after row its gradual existence emerges, while at the same time, it is sharing and absorbing the Wairua (Spirit), energies and aroha (love) of its creator.
(Excerpt from NIU - He Tangata Matauhi, Voices of our Ancestors) This artwork also tells a story about tradition and Whakapapa (genealogy) - of how one's life journey comes from these things. Because we are all part of a larger framework - living, breathing and weaving our own destinies within this collective.