'I am thinking about my own personal history and whakapapa, while learning the history and whakapapa of clay, and all the value systems inherent.'
In Te Ao Mārama, Maia McDonald (Ngāti Mutunga, Te Āti Awa) explores Māori conceptions of creation and being. She picks up on the whakaaro of her mentor, Wi Taepa, who has drawn an analogy between the uku pot and the fundamental structures of te pō (the realm of darkness) and te ao mārama (the realm of life and light), respectively represented by the inside and outside of the vessel. The movement from te korekore (the realm of potential being) to te whaiao (the realm of coming into being) and te ao mārama is evoked through the use of black, red, and white. This primordial, cosmic process becomes a figure for the generative force underpinning McDonald's work with ringaringa, uku, and ahi.