Keana Paerata

Whare Tapere

Bachelor of Design Interior Design Public Space Te Ao Māori Surface Performance Culture

Revitalising Performance Art through Māori concepts

Whare Tapere is a setting for Māori Performance Art that is meant to create a community-based interaction involving the integration of Māori world view expressions through the notion of performance and entertainment. With reference to the traditional Māori Whare Tapere, in this project we investigated universal space for the purpose of providing a shared space for all forms of entertainment, inhabiting the concept of absolute space. A spatial void becomes a portal for social energy to surface. Further investigation into Māori values on the idea of Whanaungatanga to establish interconnected relationship between spectator and performer. The project will enhance a community interaction by creating an open area for the audience to become part of the script, as they make their way through fort lane. Within this project we investigated surface design as a means to create Māori story telling through patterns and textiles and to bring forth an atmosphere ingrained in Te Ao Māori.

This project explores Māori performance art, through traditional Māori Whare Tapere. Whare Tapere were a place for many forms of entertainment, including musical instruments, story- telling, song and dance. To follow the notion of this tradition would re-awaken this lost form of entertainment from New Zealand’s society and strengthen the cultural ties that were deconstructed from the land. The notions of entertainment and culture woven together, creates a sense of community due to the nature of the passer- byers being drawn into the space, as they are walking through fort lane and suddenly become part of the scene. The concept for the project is a performance art space that is grounded in Māori values throughout the site of Fort Lane. The idea of absolute space is explored to develop a Maori narrative through a Performance space. A performance space opposed to a theatre allows a cultural atmosphere to be expressed and breaks through the western culture formed throughout Fort lane. By following the idea of absolute space it creates a void for a universal space to inhabit a Whare Tapere. To enhance the quality of storytelling, surfaces and tile design were explored as a process to display Māori art through methods of weaving as a concept to symbolise the tradition within Māori culture and the idea of interconnectedness. By following a Māori framework based on a Te Ao Mārama, a Performative element can be explored through space to create a sense of community and can help form interconnected relationships. A Performance Space can be a dwelling that houses shared experience by a collective group. Forms of entertainment can be used to draw attention to strangers, rather than the structural elements of Architecture being the grand scheme of the Performance. Spatial performativity can be displayed through the immateriality of the theatrical void. A sense of community can be built throughout the idea of Absolute space as it in turn adds layers to the performance or other entertainment housed within the Performance Art space.