Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Matariki Kites over Ihumatao Pa: A Celebration and a Lament

'Matariki Kites over Ihumatao Pa'  a series of large paintings by Mere Clifford is on display at the Lake House Arts Centre in Takapuna. 

Comtemporary kites are often used to celebrate Matariki , the Maori New Year, and in these paintings they circle and embrace Puketapapa and Ihumatao Pa.

Playful  and joyous but they also invite us, in a non confrontational way, to think about  recent plans by the new owners Fletcher Residential Limited to build 480 dwellings on what is now known as  Special Housing Area 62. The 33 -hectare block in contention is immediately adjacent to the Ihumatao Pa. Puketapapa and the Otuataua Stonefields HIstoric Reserve , and threatens to destroy remaining heritage.

In her artist statement Mere Clifford writes:

' While the contemporary kites in these paintings are sweet, playful and vibrant their presence is haunted by an unseen but still felt history of heartache. This juxtaposition illuminates that while on the surface things like 'progress' and in this case housing development seem fine , acceptable and even necessary, underneath that same surface agonies of past injustices remain and must be properly dealt with.'

An action group called SOUL has been formed . If you would like to find out more and ways you could support the campaign to save this land  for us, and for future generations check out