Mai i te aroha, ko te aroha: Lisa Reihana
Te Ara ā Hine
A major new art commission by Auckland based artist Lisa Reihana has opened as part of Te Papa's 2008 celebration of Matariki (Māori new year). Curator of Contemporary Māori and Indigenous Art, Megan Tamati-Quennell, says:
The new installation by Lisa Reihana called Mai i te aroha, ko te aroha, meaning 'From love, comes love', was commissioned specifically for Te Ara a Hine and follows the Jacqueline Fraser installation and ceremonial entrance – Te Ara a Hine – created for the opening of Te Papa in 1998.
Mai i te aroha, ko te aroha comprises seven components including moving image, digital photography, and textile design. As well as articulating the established ideas and definitions of the space, Mai i te aroha, ko te aroha makes visible a core function of Te Papa as a 'treasure house of collections'. Reihana's installation pays homage to Fraser's work, the first commission to adorn the space, and references art and taonga held in the Te Papa art, Māori, and photography collections including her own works.
Conceived as a 'changing contemporary art space for women', Te Ara a Hine in literal translation means the pathway of women and is the internal entrance to Te Hono ki Hawaiki, Te Papa's Marae. An equivalent male space – Te Ara a Tāne – runs on the outside of the Te Papa building from the iwi planting area to the marae atea, and is the external entrance to Te Hono ki Hawaiki.
Born in 1964, Lisa Reihana graduated from Elam School of Fine Arts, Auckland University, in 1987. Of Ngā Puhi descent, Reihana is a mid-career artist. Her practice is wide-ranging and includes installation, moving image, and time-based media works, sculpture, photography, text-based works, performance, costume, and body adornment.
Her work is increasingly shown internationally and last year was included in shows in New York, France, and Italy. She is one of three New Zealand artists selected for this year's Liverpool Biennale – MADE UP – which focuses on imagination and highlights art's capacity to transport us, to suspend disbelief and generate alternative realities.
See other works by Lisa Reihana in Te Papa's Collections Online