July 02, 2023Features

Tohu mo Matariki 2023

Each year Basement’s journey through the Matariki new year is guided by a tohu that gets created for us by a Māori visual artist. This year, the incredibly talented Raukawa Kiri (Ngāti Porou-Maniapoto) has hand-painted this show-stopping and deeply evocative tohu, in response to the ancestral whakatauki:  

"He ika paewai anake hei tomo ki roto te hīnaki"  
Loosely translated this means "only eels enter my eel basket"

Raukawa says, "This whakatauki speaks to the intrinsic journey of self-worth and healthy boundaries. That what we choose to accept is defined by our boundaries and this is reflected in the way we value our time and our skills. This can be a struggle in the face of capitalism and doing what we need to survive, which impacts our hauora and our relationship with creativity. This whakatauki reminds us how important it is to value what we do, and to set the benchmark for what we deserve. That ultimately we create our hīnaki and if we look after it, it will feed us." 

The process of working with Raukawa to create something of resonance for our team and our communities has unfolded as a rich and poignant process. We are forever connected to Raukawa now, and we wish them a Matariki that is abundant in peace and aroha. Raukawa’s tohu will take over the banner space that sits above our venue doors for two weeks from this coming Monday, at the commencement of our Matariki artist wānanga. Come down and view this epic masterpiece.