Matauranga whakapiki

Uni of Akl commission montage

This commission has been installed at the University of Auckland. It consists of 15 pou carved from Jarrah wood recycled from various jetties around Auckland. They are mounted on the wall with outside dimensions of 2.2 metres by 1.0 metre.

The overall structure of this piece encompasses the Tuakana-Teina step concept. The ascending pou is intended to evoke a feeling of tautoko (support), as well whanaunga (family), wero (challenge) and whakapiki (ascent).

The left side is carved with the Papa Whakairo adopted by the Faculty of Science to identify with the primordial whakaaro (idea/plan), that is, the Papa moko. The right side is carved with the Mataariki star constellation. Tara Ina Papa and the UoA Pacific equity advisor contributed to the choice of symbols for Mataariki. The first is the basic koru symbol which is common to both Pacifika and Aotearoa.

The other motifs are a combination of South Pacific forms such as frangipani, fish, koru, coconut husks, etc. By using the jetty timber, incorporating the Papa Whakairo and the specific symbols used to represent stars in the Mataariki constellation, this piece evokes a feeling of journey in waka, Pasifika, Te Ao Maori and matauranga, tying all of this together in the ancient science of Earth (Papa) and Sky (Rangi).