Paper cut-outs take on the sky

PATTERNS FROM THE SKY: Patterned cut-outs created by Ruby Seymour (left), Jack Thompson (third left), Sam Matthews and Taylor Young along with other Makaraka School students in response to artist Melanie Tahata’s (second left) projected imagery at Tairawhiti Museum are now part of Tahata’s installation. Picture by Liam Clayton

The students’ works are now part of Tahata’s screened imagery. Her moving image installation is part of the OHO (awake, arise) exhibition of three artists’ work at Tairawhiti Museum.

Projected on to walls at each end of the museum’s gallery, the installation is made up of Ko Ura Tuatahi, Tahata’s “love letter to the universe” on one wall, while projected on the opposite wall is Te Ana Ura, a name derived from the original name for Anaura Bay.

Ko Ura Tuatahi is made up of three circular projections that move across the wall and are based on Maramataka, the Maori lunar calendar. Maramataka means “the turning of the moon”. This is the work the Makaraka students took as inspiration for their own small pieces. The artist based motifs in the footage on observations from watching the night sky. She also observed seasonal changes such as types of flowers, ocean changes, animal behaviour and people’s activity during the “hot season” and the “cold season” that comprise a year in the mundane world.

“I talked to the students about the flowers and plants in the films. They responded well to films and made repeating patterns from imagery they liked in the second film.”

The students folded pieces of paper in eighths, cut patterns from the wads then unfolded them to reveal kaleidoscopic designs. The artist then asked the student artists to Blu-Tack their cut-outs on to the wall around the projected imagery.

Because the project was collaborative she enjoyed the randomness of the arrangment on her screened imagery.

“I told them ‘put them wherever you want’. My most recent move as an artist is to investigate more things like the collaborative process. Children come with no hang-ups about how they make art. If they make a mistake they do it again. During the workshop they learned about astronomy, maths, geometry and art.”

The students’ works are now part of Tahata’s screened imagery. Her moving image installation is part of the OHO (awake, arise) exhibition of three artists’ work at Tairawhiti Museum.

Projected on to walls at each end of the museum’s gallery, the installation is made up of Ko Ura Tuatahi, Tahata’s “love letter to the universe” on one wall, while projected on the opposite wall is Te Ana Ura, a name derived from the original name for Anaura Bay.

Ko Ura Tuatahi is made up of three circular projections that move across the wall and are based on Maramataka, the Maori lunar calendar. Maramataka means “the turning of the moon”. This is the work the Makaraka students took as inspiration for their own small pieces. The artist based motifs in the footage on observations from watching the night sky. She also observed seasonal changes such as types of flowers, ocean changes, animal behaviour and people’s activity during the “hot season” and the “cold season” that comprise a year in the mundane world.

“I talked to the students about the flowers and plants in the films. They responded well to films and made repeating patterns from imagery they liked in the second film.”

The students folded pieces of paper in eighths, cut patterns from the wads then unfolded them to reveal kaleidoscopic designs. The artist then asked the student artists to Blu-Tack their cut-outs on to the wall around the projected imagery.

Because the project was collaborative she enjoyed the randomness of the arrangment on her screened imagery.

“I told them ‘put them wherever you want’. My most recent move as an artist is to investigate more things like the collaborative process. Children come with no hang-ups about how they make art. If they make a mistake they do it again. During the workshop they learned about astronomy, maths, geometry and art.”

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