A modern translation of the word Kura is that of precious or prestigious. Kura refers to the red feathers that were worn by Rangitira (Maori Chiefs). These red feathers therefore became revered as being prestigious or precious.
Kura Gallery provides access for locals and international visitors to quality contemporary Maori and New Zealand art + design through well established & highly visible art spaces located in Wellington and Auckland. We value the authenticity of works from our Maori artists and operate as a licensed stockist for ‘Toi Iho’, the mark of authenticity and quality for Maori arts and crafts. Kura is owned and operated by Jude Dods and her son Ben Dods.
Jude Dods – Director
Scottish, French, Irish
Jude is a 7th generation New Zealander and affiliated to Papawai Marae, Wairarapa and Ngai Tahu through her mother. Jude is married to Guy Dods a fifth generation New Zealander who hails from Gisborne and is of Rongowhakaata and Scottish heritage.
Jude has a background in industrial design and art. She has lived and travelled extensively around the world and has first hand experience in recognising the value and importance of supporting indigenous arts.
Jude opened her first gallery in Namibia, Africa, providing a space for local artists to sell their works and enabling opportunities for travellers to access authentic arts and crafts from the area. Jude opened her first Kura Gallery in Taupo 1998 with the same intention, recognising the lack of available gallery spaces for many of our talented and skilled artists to exhibit and promote their work.
Jude co-owned Kura Taupo with business partner Carol until 2000 when an opportunity to open another gallery in Wellington presented itself. Kura Taupo and Wellington kept the same name but the businesses was seperated. Kura Auckland opened in December, 2002.
Jude is a visionary and like the rest of the Kura team, very passionate about supporting the growth of Maori art and increasing the exposure of Maori and New Zealand art + design to locals and and the international community.
Ben Dods – Director
Rongowhakaata, Scottish, Irish, French
Bachelor of Business – IT Major, Wellington. Associate Diploma in Mechanical Engineering. Ben joined Jude and the Kura fold in Wellington 2001.
He is the Business Manager for Kura Wellington and Auckland and is Kura’s number one problem solver and resourceful do-it-your-self master. He keeps the Kura whanau on target.
Vicky Thomas – Manager
Ngai Kahu, Ngapuhi, Irish, Welsh, Portuguese
Bachelor of Design (Honours) Visual Communication – Photography Major, Unitec, Mt Albert, Auckland
Born in Auckland, Vicky grew up in Mangere, South Auckland. Apart from living in Australia for several years in her twenties Vicky has lived in Auckland and is comfortable with describing herself as an urban Maori.
She has been manager and curator for Kura Auckland since 2005 and has been employed by Kura since it opened in 2002.
Vicky is a practising Photographic Artist and her work has shown in both national and international exhibitions.
Ngati Kahu, Ngapuhi, Irish, Welsh, German, Scottish.
Bouen has worked in the signage industry and spent a year in Chile travelling and working in Valparaiso and Atacama.
Bouen has a passion for music.