• Chantel Matthews

Kiingi Tuheitia Portraiture Award

Updated: Oct 30, 2020

Entered Award 30th October 2020 with permission from the whanau.

“ Firstly Whenua is Land. This is your little bit of Land. No matter where you are in the world, I will be here and at the end, you can come back” – Eva Rickard

Tuaiwa Hautai “Eva” Rickard (1925) Te Kopua, Raglan Whaingaroa was a prominent and influential activist for Māori land rights and advocated for women’s rights within Māoridom. Eva led the Raglan golf course protest in the 1970s.

With permission from whanaunga Tuaiwa Hautai Kereopa Rickard Whanau, I have created a sculpture inspired by an image of Tūpuna Eva Rickard while she was campaigning for land rights at Nambassa 1979, a year after I was born. She is tūpuna through my Kawharu bloodline. Not only is she a role model and influencer within my art practice, but she is also the very reason I have a place to stand. With her fight for Whenua, this sculpture conceptually considers and celebrates our connection to Whenua through its processes, acknowledging Atua Papatūānuku, Tangaroa, Mahuika and Tāwhirimātea. Made from Papatūānuku this work lives, breathes and pays homage to her fight for the return of Māori Land to Tangata Whenua.

“Go back to what you were, go back and be us” – Tuaiwa Hautai “Eva” Rickard, 2020

Uku Sculpture fired with charcoal iron glaze

mixed with wai moana collected from (Raglan Whaingaroa)

5.31 x 8.46 inches

Title from a quote Eva mentions in this documentary. https://youtu.be/UVmK_o0keP0

approx 29 minutes in.

30th Sep 20

Firing Notes

Big Cob Craft Kiln, On top Shelf near probe

Pr3 - 100 degrees. R100 - T150c

No hold. R2 150 - T2 (1050c)

No hold. R3 60 degrees (1140 T3)

Hold 30min. End. Mon - Wednesday

Black charcoal glaze. Looks velveting and soft.

26 August 20

A few friends sent me the link to the Kiingi Tuheitia Portraiture Award, and the first thing that came to mind was creating something inspired by Aunty Eva. I asked Angeline Rickard for permission to make work inspired by Aunty Eva to enter them into the KT Portraiture Award.

Sleeping on it, the visions came of either a sculptural figure or a tokotoko filled with whaingaroa.

Without too much thought, I was surprised how blissful, enjoyable, and calming this making was. As I moulded deep into the clay with my hands, the forming was natural and gentle. Carefully she unveiled herself to me as I kept thinking if Aunty Eva disapproves, I will know, and just like that, effortlessly, she was finished. Usually, I would have doubts, negative criticism, and thoughts about my work, but I couldn't in this Mahi, all I could see was a homage to who aunty Eva was in my eyes. Once finished, I was concerned that there was no mouth, and given aunty Eva was and continues to be an activist in my mind, who was very vocal and always speaking, the absence of movement or mouth worried me. The next day I woke and made another and then another inspired by three images and with the concept of creating a signal and activating her voice through her stances. Together the three forms inform not only her voice but her protest, what she stood for, and the legacy she leaves. Together they shape whakapapa, Whenua, and in the collective, this walk with and for others. The figures collectively keep company and acknowledge all those who walked beside her, like the great Whina Cooper pictured below.

My intention is to finish the figures off in the kiln and glaze them either brown or black, then decide if they are ready for entry or I need to re-make based on outcomes. I will only enter them if I believe they do justice to Aunty Eva Legacy and are good enough and if Angeline is ok to proceed with them as entries, which I might take to the next hui if they are ready in time to get their blessing and perhaps wash them in the Moana while I am there, maybe take them to her for a nohi.