Kura Gallery Maori Art New Zealand Photography Vicky Thomas Deane Rose Ngatai

8 june – 21 june 2009,  Kura Gallery Auckland
Deane-Rose Ngatai and Vicky Thomas
Deane-Rose and Vicky have appropriated the concept of photographic ethnography as a means of challenging known Maori stereotypes. These images are aimed at encouraging a sense of individual and cultural self-expression and self-determined representation.

Vicky Thomas
Ngati Kahu, Ngati Pakeha
BDes(Hons) -Visual Communication – Photography

Vicky’s work is a blend of contemporary urban Maori experience and Maori tribal tradition.  She explores iconic New Zealand imagery in a new way whilst at the same time teasing out the impact things maori are having in Aotearoa today.
Vicky grew up in Mangere, Auckland. Her father was Ngati Kahu from the Far North and her mother is of Irish/English decent and was born in Onehunga, Auckland. Apart from living in Australia for several years in her twenties, Vicky has lived in Auckland most of her life and is comfortable with describing herself as an urban Maori.
Her work in part comes from a culmination of life experiences and observations about being Maori and Pakeha living in Aotearoa/New Zealand. Her ideas are often influenced by pop culture, film, television, music and her ever growing interest in learning about her Maori heritage.

Self Portrait #1, #2, #3, 2009
These self portraits are the first three of what will be an on-going body of work for Vicky. She sees this work as an opportunity to express her thoughts as an individual, at the same time comment on the environment in which she lives and functions.

Deane-Rose Ngatai
Ngati Porou, Tainui

Deane-Rose is of Maori and Pakeha descent with tribal affiliations to Ngati Porou and Tainui. She has lived in Waitakere City since she was born.
Currently in her second year of completing a Bachelor of Design at Unitec, she majors in Photography and Media Arts. Deane-Rose is influenced greatly by her bicultural identity and whakapapa. Her inspiration is drawn from her culture, Maori traditions, arts, history and people.

Ngatai, 2009 2/4
Fong, 2009 2/4
Smith, 2009 2/4
This work addresses the term “Urban Maori” and aims at challenging common perceptions of the “Traditional Maori”. The stamp design comments on the significant role that Maori culture and imagery plays in identifying New Zealand globally.  However the individuals propose a more personal understanding, they illustrate New Zealand as a multi-cultural society and question held perceptions of the stereotypical Maori.