17 Nov 2014

Contemporary Maori art movement honoured

11:06 am on 17 November 2014

The formation of a pivotal modern Maori visual arts group 25 years ago has been celebrated in a new book that chronicles its development and the artists it nurtured.

The book celebrates 25 years of Te Atinga.

The book celebrates 25 years of Te Atinga. Photo: Supplied

The book, edited by Nigel Borall, takes the same name as the group - Te Ātinga - and is described as being Maori art through Maori eyes.

The first hui of the contemporary Maori visual arts committee took place in 1987 and those taking part included high profile artists such as Robyn Kahukiwa and Ross Hemera.

The kaupapa of Te Ātinga was to provide support for aspiring rangatahi artists, some of whom have become high profile names.

Maori artist June Northcote Grant, who was a committee member until this year, said the group grew out of a desire by Maori artists to protest about what was happening to tangata whenua.

Ms Grant said Te Ātinga started in the 1980s, which was a time of activism when people were making political statements and getting arrested.

She said many Maori artists made political statements about the state of tangata whenua at that time through their visual medium.

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