Chantel Matthews

I sea a vessel filled with tea

Master of Visual Arts Visual Arts Indigenous Methodologies Social art practice Te Ao Maori
Wai-rua, Uku vessels (size varied) Shelves
AD21 Award
Toi Māia Award
For cultural contribution to mātauranga Māori and indigenous knowledge

A sculptural practice exploring day-to-day Wāhine ways through whakapapa layers

This project explores the struggles to make space for an art practice amongst everyday responsibilities, asking: How might wāhine artists make space for art when mothering, partnering, friending, and everything else in-between?  This is further examined with notions of whakapapa as a kaupapa Māori research method and conceptual tool to explore the layers and responsibilities we have as mothers, partners, artist’s and as wāhine Māori.

This thesis engages in a sculptural practice to explore concepts of wāhine and whakapapa and the complexities these concepts bring to lived realities of wāhine.  Using ‘the everyday’ as an opportunity to incorporate Māori ways of knowing and seeing allows for the unpacking of Māori knowledge systems that embrace and empower, uplift, and inspire through a practice-led sculptural practice. Notions of whakapapa as a kaupapa Māori research method and conceptual tool are used to explore the layers and responsibilities of be-ing a mother, partner, friend, artist, and wahine Māori. This project explores how whakapapa heightens these responsibilities and impacts wellbe-ing through object mak-ing and social gestures, specifically highlighting relationships of wāhine to nature, earth mother, Papatūānuku and the relationship with her as the material uku. The thesis finds ways of understanding ‘the everyday’ through sculptural strategies that honour concepts that include Māori ways of knowing through object-mak-ing practices, valuing what it means to enhance and empower wāhine.