May 18, 2021

Maori News & Indigenous Views

Pounamu Exhibition goes on Display

2 min read

PRECIOUS pounamu have made their way from all corners of Aotearoa to go on show under one roof.

The Taonga Tuku Iho (Treasures of Our Heritage) exhibition at Uxbridge Howicks creative centre has been organised by bone carver Don Campbell, of Papatoetoe, and is a collection of traditional and contemporary carvings.

Mr Campbell learnt to carve at Otara Marae many years ago and he looks after a group of carvers through Bone Art, a company which primarily sells internationally, notably in the US and Europe.

Unfortunately when it comes to greenstone or jade or bone, the NZ market is saturated with jade which comes from another country and is made in China using Maori designs, he says.

Then its sold here really cheap, so authentic traditional carvers using New Zealand pounamu [greenstone] are losing out to these cheaper imitations.

Mr Campbell is thrilled to have such a variety of high-quality work displayed for sale at Uxbridge.

As you can see none of my own works made the cut. When youre an artist, youre your own worst critic, he laughs.

Mr Campbell wanted a blend of cultures represented in the show.

Lilach Paul, one of the contributing artists, is originally from Israel and now lives in New Zealand.

She has mastered the art of carving and fashioned the use of bone with images representing her Israeli heritage and her take on Kiwi culture today.

The exhibition is part of the Manukau Festival of Art, and will host free carving demonstrations at Uxbridge on November 7 and 11 from noon-2pm.

There will be traditional binding and cordage technique demonstrations on November 6, 10 and 12 from noon-1pm.

The exhibition runs until November 18.

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