Up-cycled cedar Venetian Blinds have been transformed by Raewyn Tauira Paterson into affordable works of art. She has allowed ink and paint to run the length of the panel and then screen printed her distinctive Kowhaiwhai pattern over the top.
Paterson's Kowhaiwhai is a cheeky appropriation of Gordon Walters' koru and can have several interpretations. Firstly, it represents the stop banks that contain the Awa (river) as it attempts to follow its own path. It also represents a pepeha, a way of introducing yourself in Māori. It tells people who you are by sharing your connections with the people and places that are important to you.
The delightful thing about the Awa Panels is that they represent a combination of cultures, much like their creator, who is of Tuhoe and Ngati-pakeha descent. They are sustainable, affordable, accessible and have integrity. What more could you ask from an artwork!
Raewyn Tauira Paterson graduated as a Top Student from the Eastern Institute of Technology in 2010. Her degree work explored the design of a contemporary Maori eco-friendly home that combined traditional marae spaces, Maori ecology narratives, and contemporary Eco-design techniques.
Raewyn completed her Masters in Professional Creative Practice in 2017 after a late start in formal art education. Her Māori visual culture learning is self-driven and intuitive, explored by utilising the wide range of media she was introduced to at EIT. She continues to draw on her own heritage, memories and gathered mātauranga to explore themes of pattern, whanaunga, identity, and space. Every work she creates is another step in her journey of learning.
Raewyn is currently Programme co-ordinator and Tutor at IDEAschool, EIT.
In February 2020, the opening of the interior of Te Ara o Tāwhaki (the wharenui at EIT) revealed the contemporary tukutuku panels she designed and created with the EIT community.