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JH

Nikau Hindin Kites

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Installation of Nikau Hindin's Manu Aute: Rere Runga Hau at Season. Photo: Seb Charles Installation of Nikau Hindin's Manu Aute: Rere Runga Hau at Season. Photo: Seb Charles Nikau Hindin, Kia Piritahi | Collectivise, (First flight at Piritahi marae), 2022, Parauri and kerewhenua on aute, with muka and rattan frame, 330 x 350 mm. Photo: Seb Charles Nikau Hindin, Kia Piritahi | Collectivise, (First flight at Piritahi marae), 2022, Parauri and kerewhenua on aute, with muka and rattan frame, 330 x 350 mm. Photo: Seb Charles Nikau Hindin, Tukutuku Roimata | Let tears flow, 2022, Parauri and pukepoto on aute, with rattan and muka frame, 330 x 335 mm. Photo: Seb charles Nikau Hindin, Kia Āta-Uira | Become gentle lightning, 2022, Pukepoto and kerewhenua on aute, with rattan frame, 335 x 335 mm. Photo: Seb Charles Nikau Himdin, Tūwhitia te Hopo | Feel the fear and do it anyway, 2022, Parauri, kerewhenua and pukepoto on aute, with raupō, muka and kaereao frame, 330 x 335 mm. Photo: Seb Charles Nikau Hindin, Whāia te Iti Kahurangi | Pursue your highest aspirations, 2022, Pukepoto and kerewhenua on aute, with tikumu tail, and bamboo frame, 550 x 580 mm. Photo: Seb Charles. Nikau Hindin, Te Pōtiki | The Favourite, 2022 Parauri, kākaramea, kerewhenua and pukepoto on aute, with muka and rattan frame, 330 x 335 mm. Photo: Seb Charles Nikau Hindin, Kukume i ngā Pūngao Hihi | Pull the radiant energy, 2022, Kerewhenua on aute, with muka and tikumu tassels, muka and tikumu tail, and rattan frame, 340 x 340 mm. Photo: Seb Charles Nikau Hindin, Rere Runga Rawa | Ascend to the higher realms, 2022, Parauri, kākaramea, kerewhenua and pukepoto on aute, with muka and kareao frame, 420 x 360 mm. Photo: Seb Charles Nikau Hindin, Rere Runga Rawa | Ascend to the higher realms, 2022, Parauri, kākaramea, kerewhenua and pukepoto on aute, with muka and kareao frame, 420 x 360 mm. Photo: Seb Charles Nikau Hindin, Rere Tahi | Rise Together, 2022, Parauri, kākaramea, kerewhenua and pukepoto on aute, with tānekaha-dyed aute tails, and muka and kareao frame, 330 x 260 mm. Photo: Seb Charles Nikau Hindin, Rere Tahi | Rise Together, 2022, Parauri, kākaramea, kerewhenua and pukepoto on aute, with tānekaha-dyed aute tails, and muka and kareao frame, 330 x 260 mm. Photo: Seb Charles Nikau Hindin, Kia Manahau | Be ecstatic, jubilant, elated, 2022, Kerewhenua and pukepoto on aute, with raupō and muka frame, 135 x 105 mm. Photo: Seb Charles Nikau Hindin, Kia Manahau | Be ecstatic, jubilant, elated, 2022, Kerewhenua and pukepoto on aute, with raupō and muka frame, 135 x 105 mm. Photo: Seb Charles Nikau Hindin, Tītaha Tōtika | Go skewed but direct, 2022, Parauri on aute, with muka, kareao and raupō frame, 300 x 150 mm. Photo: Seb Charles Nikau Hindin, Tītaha Tōtika | Go skewed but direct, 2022, Parauri on aute, with muka, kareao and raupō frame, 300 x 150 mm. Photo: Seb Charles Nikau Hindin, Kūmea te Tai | Pull back the tide, 2022, Parauri and pukepoto on aute, with raupō and muka frame, 135 x 105 mm. Photo: Seb Charles Nikau Hindin, Maunga Nekeneke | Move mountains, 2022, Parauri and pukepoto on aute, with raupō and muka frame, 310 x 190 mm. Photo: Seb Charles Nikau Hindin, Parininihi | The White Cliffs in Taranaki, 2022, Aute, with muka and tikumu tassels, aho muka, punga (anchor) of pungapunga, and kareao frame, 445 x 365 mm. Photo: Seb Charles

These are in fact paintings, but not in the usual sense. Immaculately rendered hard-edged geometrical motifs are positioned on the carefully made vegetative fabric that closeup is unlike any stretched canvas, metal sheet or hardboard panel that NZ artists like Killeen, Walters or Morris might use as support. (The photographs on the right are deceptive.) It has a fine organic fibrous surface that is not smooth or perfectly flat and planar, but undulating.

Auckland

 

Nikau Hindin
Manu Aute: Rere Runga Hau


8 October 2022 - 19 November 2022

Seventeen delicate kites, constructed by Nikau Hindin from aute fabric made from beaten, soaked, fermented and rebeaten paper mulberry bark, are displayed in Season, presenting a traditional but rarely seen technique she is now well known for. They are hung on fishing lines from protruding dowel rods attached to the walls at different heights. Surprisingly they are not bird-shaped (as is traditional for Māori) but initially, through their diamond shape, more connected it would seem at first glance, to non-objective painting that incorporates European artists like Mondrian.

These smallish diamond or rectangle-shaped objects are decorated with abstract motifs consisting of softly coloured triangles from tukutuku or tāniko motifs, rectangles and bars, using paint from earth pigments found at certain locations around Aotearoa. As they are suspended, they can be viewed from both sides. They swivel in the air.

Most of them are too small to be separated from the dowelling and flown on a long line. They are made to be kept and thought about indoors—and looked after and valued as artworks—where the rod can be swung through the air in a room, and the flying diamond imagined hovering high outside.

These are in fact paintings, but not in the usual sense. Immaculately rendered hard-edged geometrical motifs are positioned on the carefully made vegetative fabric that closeup is unlike any stretched canvas, metal sheet or hardboard panel that NZ artists like Killeen, Walters or Morris might use as support. (The photographs on the right are deceptive.) It has a fine organic fibrous surface that is not smooth or perfectly flat and planar, but undulating.

It also has a diagonal grain. Across it, using raking light, you can see indentations from the pummelling clublike beater, a subtly raised texture, an embossed watermark effect. Usually the aute is folded over on two opposite edges for strengthening, with small parts of the motifs peeking through around the edges on the other side. The contours are not severely straight but have an organic, wobbly feel. As kites they have at their bases, tails made of muka and tikumu to give them aeronautic stability.

The aute bark came from Te Tai Tokerau and O‘ahu, the light brackets (created by Emile Drescher) are made of kwila and kareao, while the colours are diverse in origin, the kerewhenua (yellow) and the hōrua (red) coming from Te Tai Tokerau, the pukepoto (blue) from Te Waipounamu. The parauri (brown) was made by mixing hōrua (red) with ngārahu (black), the kākaramea (orange) by blending kerewhenua and hōrua.

In her online artist’s notes for the show, Hindin points out that kites were mainly flown as an act of exuberance, joyful play, and family fun—but also as an ominous warning. (Perhaps of approaching war parties?) She mentions the climate crisis as an appropriate contemporary topic of urgent concern, which of course in today’s context seems to imply the imminent end of human life on our planet, the end of play, and the end of art.

John Hurrell

BTW Seb Charles’ short film, Te Uru Aute, about Hindin and her teina, Rongomai Grbic-Hoskins—and her apprenticeship in aute production—will be screened (with a book launch) at the Academy Theatre on Sat. 26 November at 6 pm, $12 admission.

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