Ngāhina Hohaia Te Ara Kei Runga, 2018–19
Harakeke fibre, supplejack vine, galvanised wire, repurposed fence battens, paint.
Te Ara Kei Runga takes its name from the beginning verse of an ancestral incantation, meaning Behold this pathway above. In the context of this installation, Te Ara Kei Runga symbolises a site of sanctuary and mauri, Māori concepts relating to the life-force of the natural world, physical and spiritual. This installation stands as a woven altar of bloodlines connecting the fibres between the heavens and the earth. It is a call to the Sacred within and to the Sacred that surrounds us, bringing alive art as ritual and ritual as art as it has been since time immemorial.
Born Taranaki. Lives and works in Auckland.
Ngāhina Hohaia (Taranaki Iwi, Parihaka, Greek, Irish) works across a range of media, including shell, wood, fibre, and metals. Her practice varies from creating identity statement body adornment, fibre sculpting, to large scale multi-media installation. Within her work, Hohaia employs customary weaving methodologies as the basis for her contemporary conceptual art practice. The influence of her upbringing within her tribal community of Parihaka is expressed through her politically charged work, addressing the dispossession of Māori land and the continued impacts of colonisation within the political, social, and economic landscape of Aotearoa New Zealand. Her art practice serves as reclamation of self-determining indigenous voice and space.
Hohaia has a Masters of Māori Visual Arts from Massey University, Palmerston North. She has exhibited throughout New Zealand and internationally. Her large scale sculptural works are in numerous public art gallery collections. She has been a recipient of the Te Waka Toi Creative New Zealand Māori Arts Award. In 2010, Hohaia received an Arts Foundation of New Zealand New Generation Award.