George Kahi opens the three exhibitions at Waiheke Community Art Gallery. Photos Erin Johnson

A karakia was performed every morning last week to bless the three exhibitions that were opened at the Waiheke Community Art Gallery on Friday 22 November.

A crowd gathered outside the gallery on the balmy early summer evening to be called in for the opening of group exhibition Tātai Whenua – Tuia 250 Encounters, Peter Rees’ Crossings and Anton Forde’s He Hīnātore O Ngā Toroa.

Whaea Huhana Davis called the people in and a haka, Tōia Mai Te Waka, was performed as the pōwhiri moved into the gallery. Once inside, a karakia was given by Matua Ted Ngataki, Tohunga Whakairo for Tainui who had worked with Anton Forde on the recent carving of a waka now installed at the Vector Wero Whitewater Park in Manukau.

Paora Toi Te Rangiuaia responded and waiata Ehara I Te Mea was sung before Matua George Kahi spoke, acknowledging the hapu of Waiheke.

In referring to the artists, Peter Rees and Anton Forde, Matua George said that the two men were influenced by the island and the exhibitions were a weaving of these influences.

Director of Waiheke Community Art Gallery, Linda Chalmers, said Tātai Whenua translates as sailing under the same stars and the exhibition eludes to the Hauraki experience of the Endeavour visit.

For more details about the exhibition read art writer Sandra Chesterman’s column on pages 26 and 27.•

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