Provoked by Lester Hall’s concept for a televised programme of the same name Tangatawho? these pieces are part of my on-going inner conversation about who I am in my own land – pakeha [different] or maori [even though I have no maori ancestry]. Could I be tangatawhenua [a person of the land]? As a fifth generation New Zealander where could I belong? I can’t even legally work in the countries that my non-New Zealand born ancestors come from.
They also reflect my own design aesthetic of valuing the handmade, repurposing and upcycling of found materials but with a couture base. Built from items of value to trade – blankets and wool – these designs stem from our colonial past and what we wore and traded, using blankets and knitting. How they suit our future is a discussion to be had.
Exhibited at Style Pacifika 2011.