Last Saturday 3 September 2011 painter and printmaker Robyn Kahukiwa was awarded the prestigious Te Tohu Toi Ke award (the award for making a difference) for "challenging and broadening perceptions of Maori art". Her official citation lauded her 30 year career "challenging and broadening perceptions of Maori art" through the "creative innovation and international profiling of contemporary Maori art and issues ". It's a recognition of Robyn's contribution to Maori art and New Zealand art generally and all of us here at New Zealand Fine Prints would like to congratulate her on this honour.
According to maorinews.com the annual Creative New Zealand Te Waka Toi Awards are the only national Maori arts awards to celebrate all art forms. Established in 1986, they recognise achievement in areas including writing, composition, oratory, performing, object and visual arts. Two scholarships are also awarded to emerging artists.
Te Waka Toi is the Māori Arts Board of Creative New Zealand. We read with some amusement on the Creative NZ website that the Maori Arts Board claim to be responsible for the "development of Māori art and artists in New Zealand" - apparently through its role in "investing in contestable funding" developing "initiatives" and the delivery of "tailored programmes". We thought that the people responsible for the ongoing development of Maori art and artists in New Zealand were the collectors who purchased their artworks enabling them to keep being creative...