Women far walking

Artists Toni Rangi, Jeanette McDonnell-Rata, Yvonne Tana reunite in an exhibition of their work at Tairawhiti Museum. Picture supplied

A journey towards physical, emotional and spiritual healing is at the heart of Hikoi, an exhibition of work by Toni Rangi, Yvonne Tana and Jeannette McDonnell-Rata.

The three artists last exhibited together 16 years ago. Hikoi came about when Rangi visited Tana in Dargaville on her birthday.

As a Toihoukura student Rangi had first met Tana at the Ngapuhi Festival in 1995 when the Dargaville woman greeted the Toihoukura group on a marae.

She and Rangi instantly became friends. Tana later studied at Toihoukura. Tana had just reached the peak of her artistic career when she had a stroke that compromised her motor ability.

Her art was everything to her, says Rangi. “Three years ago my husband and I went up to Dargaville for her birthday. We could see she really wanted to be part of the art world again. She was crying out to be part of it.”

Rangi put a challenge to her: would she take part in an exhibition? Rangi and McDonnell-Rata would support her through this part of the journey, says Rangi.

“It’s all about the healing — physical, spiritual and emotional.”

Former Gisborne resident McDonnell-Rata studied Maori art under Shane Cotton at Massey University. She has since become head of a high school art department in Raglan but is on sabbatical to study te reo Maori this year.

The three women last exhibited together 16 years ago. They were close friends back then but “sort of drifted apart” as they followed different paths. Rangi has not done much art since then but says it has been good to get back into it.

“This has been a huge journey for all of us.”

  • Hikoi. Walking with the Ancestors, Tairawhiti Museum, April 21-June 17.

A journey towards physical, emotional and spiritual healing is at the heart of Hikoi, an exhibition of work by Toni Rangi, Yvonne Tana and Jeannette McDonnell-Rata.

The three artists last exhibited together 16 years ago. Hikoi came about when Rangi visited Tana in Dargaville on her birthday.

As a Toihoukura student Rangi had first met Tana at the Ngapuhi Festival in 1995 when the Dargaville woman greeted the Toihoukura group on a marae.

She and Rangi instantly became friends. Tana later studied at Toihoukura. Tana had just reached the peak of her artistic career when she had a stroke that compromised her motor ability.

Her art was everything to her, says Rangi. “Three years ago my husband and I went up to Dargaville for her birthday. We could see she really wanted to be part of the art world again. She was crying out to be part of it.”

Rangi put a challenge to her: would she take part in an exhibition? Rangi and McDonnell-Rata would support her through this part of the journey, says Rangi.

“It’s all about the healing — physical, spiritual and emotional.”

Former Gisborne resident McDonnell-Rata studied Maori art under Shane Cotton at Massey University. She has since become head of a high school art department in Raglan but is on sabbatical to study te reo Maori this year.

The three women last exhibited together 16 years ago. They were close friends back then but “sort of drifted apart” as they followed different paths. Rangi has not done much art since then but says it has been good to get back into it.

“This has been a huge journey for all of us.”

  • Hikoi. Walking with the Ancestors, Tairawhiti Museum, April 21-June 17.
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