A Maternal Lens is a group exhibition curated by Ema Tavola featuring new work by Aotearoa New Zealand-based artists, Margaret Aull, Julia Mage’au Gray, Leilani Kake, Kolokesa Māhina-Tuai and Vaimaila Urale.
The exhibition has engaged specifically artists who are mothers / parents to emphasise the importance of their societal roles as agents of cultural transmission. Mothers are necessarily fluid, emotionally intelligent and represent the interface of ancestral connections between the past and the present.
The installations, video works, and sculptural forms privilege natural elements that connect Casablanca to Aotearoa New Zealand; the moon, the stars and the ocean. The artists bring representations of their own maternal, cultural and metaphysical belief systems embedded in collective cultural heritage from the Pacific Island nations of Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Sāmoa, Tonga and Aotearoa New Zealand.
The presence of the artists at the opening of the exhibition emphasises the vital role of engagement, brokering relationships and connection for indigenous people. By opening the space with sound, movement and tattoo, the artists will activate La Coupole as a site of Oceanic presence, connected by almost 19,600km of water and the universality of the maternal condition.
A Maternal Lens has been produced with significant funding from Creative New Zealand.