I am a descendant of Te Arawaru Toone. Te Ahiwaru are mana whenua at Ihumātao. The laws and historical confiscations of lands enacted by the Crown at Ihumātao are the root cause of a well-known series of protests.
I have made a number of works about Ihumātao. Six were presented at the 22nd Biennale of Sydney, NIRIN, in 2020. It was important to me to take the stories of Ihumātao to the world. The situation was complicated, so much so that it was necessary for the Māori King, Tūheitia Pōtatau Te Wherowhero, to mediate. We all knew the immense mana of the King would bring the stability needed in the volatile situation. For Explicit, two works from NIRIN are presented alongside two paintings from my 2015 Settlement series. The Settlement works respond to land claims, confiscations, and Treaty settlement processes in Tāmaki Makaurau, where I have lived all my life, and the Tāmaki Makaurau Collective Redress Deed, which provides collective redress for the thirteen iwi and hapū of Ngā Mana Whenua o Tāmaki Makaurau, referred to as the Tāmaki Collective. Treaty claims, land issues, and kaitiakitanga have formed the core of my work for many years. The fourteen Tūpuna Maunga named in the Collective Redress Deed are central to another exhibition of mine, Matariki Ring of Fire, currently on show at Te Uru Waitākere Contemporary Gallery, which underscores the depth of the whakapapa ties within this city.