Simon Lardelli (Ngāti Konohi, Rongowhakaata, Taranaki), Mike Green (Ngāti Raukawa, Ngāti Tūwharetoa), Nathan Roa (Ngāti Maniapoto), Kereama Taepa (Te Arawa, Te Āti Awa), Daniel Ormsby (Ngāti Maniapoto), Eugene Kara (Ngāti Koroki, Kahukura, Ngāti Tipa, Ngāti Koata, Ngāti Kahungunu, Ngāti Pāhauwera, Te Atihaunui a Pāpārangi, Ngā Rauru, Tūwharetoa, Te Arawa)
Rua Te Pūpuke is attributed with the discovery of Huiteananui, the carved house of Tangaroa, while on a quest to rescue his captured son, Manuruhi.
Lead by ponaturi (ancient supernatural beings) Rua successfully retrieved his child and returned to the surface with the art form of whakairo rākau, which has been maintained through Māori houses of learning to the present day.
This exhibition offers a glimpse of hidden learnings from the house of Rua.
The artists featured here have interpreted this legacy differently, ranging from aspects of whare construction, experiential learning and academic inquiry.
Like the story of Rua, their work demonstrates a tireless adventure of discovery in their quest for cultural survival.
The title of this exhibition conveys this collective industry. Poopokorua is the name of a family group of ponaturi known for their work ethic. In turn, pookokorua is the word used to describe the collective work of ants.
Hirini Moko Mead and Neil Grove, Ngā Pepeha a Ngā Tipuna: The Sayings of the Ancestors (Wellington: Victoria University Press, 1981), 326:
2023 “Ngā mahi Whakairo, ngā mahi ā Rua”
2024 “Ngā Mano Tini o Poopokorua”