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Also exhibiting with this group is Noelle Jakeman, a well-established Maori ceramicist/ sculptor, who has shown with our gallery for a number of years. She will not be present at the opening.

Three of the students made artist statements that we feel are interesting.

Francisca Charlotte Moeroa Obers, said the following: “I believe that we are all working toward the preservation of our unique cultural elements before they get swallowed up in the “monoculture” that has been ever so subtly infiltrat- ing our globe and laying waste to the different cultures of the world.”

Kylie Tiuka of the Nagai Tuhoe group related: “The constant interaction with other in- digenous cultures plays an important part in the preservation of our collective whaka- papa (genealogy). Our visual cultures and customs have similar aspects while at the same time remaining very unique. There is a common thread that connects us, with each sharing a mutual respect for our heritage, beliefs, taonga (treasures) and general ways of life.”

Michelle Nichols made the following statements about her work: “My work reflects char- acteristics of my own genealogical narrative, my connection to whenua (ancestral land). This continual exciting journey of discovery we are on, gaining knowledge and enlight- enment from information and connections we make with people and other cultures, al- lows us create a visual dialogue that speaks of who we are and the recognition of where weve come from as a people.”

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