Works of Art

Works of Art

22nd February - 25th February 2024



CHALK HORSE is thrilled to present a solo presentation of new works by Kauri Hawkins, titled ‘Works of Art’, exhibiting at Melbourne Art Fair from Feb 22 – 25. 

“This series lends its title from Augustus Hamilton’s early colonial book, Maori Art, which documents Māori art forms as “what once was.” To me, the photographs and drawings included in the book carry only what the colonial gaze saw was necessary to document. These references carried with them the underlying idea that Māori were a dying race, that our works of art and ways of life through the colonial gaze must be documented before they became ‘extinct.’

The series references my personal application of the evolution of kowhaiwhai, traditional Māori patterns and motifs that each have a meaning, and are a way to tell a story. The works themselves are visual representations of the Māori creation narrative — a Māori genesis, if you will. Embedded within this narrative are Ranginui and Papatuanuku, the two celestial parents of the gods. Once separated by their sons, the world of light (Te Ao Marama) emerged and so began the world in which we live. In this way, Works of Art reflects the same light of Te Ao Marama, operating as navigational markers of the stars and the stories that inform a Māori world view. The series stands as a rejection of notions surrounding the colonial documentation, as well as an appreciation of visual motifs that according to the artist, were my first interactions with Māori art, and the inspiration behind my practice.”

Kauri Hawkins, 2024