On my last noho marae for my level2 certificate Māori Course we heard the creation story in a way I have never heard it before. It's difficult to describe in words, incredibly it was as if our storyteller took us there, I could smell the nothing, then the beginning, I could feel the pain of Ranginui and Papatūānuku, I could taste the emotions of the brothers arguing, I could see Tane-Mahuta seperate his parents. Not long into the story, I found I could no longer sit up, and as I opened my eyes to lie down I saw that everyone else was in the same deep trance.
For this course, I now have to make a pukapuka (book) of the creation story all in te reo. These prints are an attempt to try and express the primal experience of hearing the story and will become the backgrounds for the kupu and illustrations pukapuka.
(Monoprint with laser cut collographs of Diatom images onto old atlas pages)
So I get these great ideas... at least in my head they seem really great! And then I hunt and gather the materials - a fun but lengthy process. This Shutter door panel after much experimentation with shapes and size, seems to be the perfect one to create a Kao Kao Pattern. But there is always so many different options that need to be explored within any idea!
I wonder how many ways can a Kaokao pattern be made using triangles?
I think I have decided which one I will use...
Of the 15 or so old books I brought, I have only managed to cut up about 3 so far (old romance type - no struggle there!). Three I have given to new homes because I just couldn't take the scissors to them. Maybe collage isn't for me after all?
These are all from magazines onto old romance novel pages - the only pages I have managed to rip out!
My mum learnt to do taaniko weaving at Turakina Maori Girls school, and I can't remember what age I was when she showed me. It was probably a long time after I had first begun nagging her about it though. She had a graph book, and we used to look at patterns and adjust the designs to suit what we were making. I remember one time she had been asked by someone to make one for their Maori Warden cap, it was just squares and she moaned everyday about how boring the pattern was to make!
These images are drawn from Sidney Moko-Mead's book The Art of Taaniko weaving and the copy I have published in 1968 was owned by my pakeha grandmother, who taught Taankio weaving in Rotorua. She was also adept at many pakeha handcrafts including fine embroidery and tatting. The hands below are drawn from an image Rangimarie Hetet's hands which when I saw them, reminded me of the knowledge of the hands that was passed down to me by my Mum and Nanna.
I have added ink and water colour pencil's to the original etching prints, to highlight the intricacy of the handiwork and the designs.
So I have been collecting gorgeous collages on my pinterest and having been thinking that I really want to do some, so I have made one of my old books into a 'visual diary' of sorts. I have a long way to go to loosen up, but in the process, I discovered how beautifully colour pencils and ink pens draw onto the old book paper
A few months ago I made these 3 etching plates, which layer over each other, and put one of the best prints into an exhibition for Matariki. I want to do some more prints from the same plates for an upcoming exhibition, and to experiment with the colours more.
One thing about media skill, it is really hard to produce quality results immediately after taking a break for a couple of months. It takes time to refresh the skill knowledge, to re-tie those links between eye and hand and brain! and with printing, this means making quite a few prints to re-find that rythym. And with etching, that takes time.
These 'knowing hands' are improving, but I still think another day or 2 of printing is needed to really bring out their beauty. I am loving the colours though.