Aloma in Velvet
Photographic prints depicting three combs selected from the artist’s collection Aloma, A collection of 70 heru (2022) courtesy the artist.
Aloma in Velvet transposes the artist’s ongoing project of carving heru, Māori ornamental wood or bone combs, into a series of photographic interventions across the Cloud and Britomart. These large format images depict the artist’s combs placed against rich, blue velvet. Drawing upon their whakapapa and understanding of heru, a r a p e t a renders their ancestral knowledge into contemporary contexts, emphasising the importance of story, symbiosis and solidarity as tools to enlarge and expand the way Māori culture can take up space in the world.
The artist states, “Aloma in Velvet is a love letter to my Kuia (Grandmothers) who had held the space for the nurturing of new generations in my whānau (family). Heru became a prevalent reference point of this creative body of work as symbols and indicators of matriarchal lineage and succession of legacy practices.”
a r a p e t a has been commissioned to create new artwork for the 2022 Aotearoa Art Fair with generous support from Creative New Zealand and Britomart. Aloma in Velvet will be displayed both in The Cloud and at Britomart during the 2022 Aotearoa Art Fair.
Image: a r a p e t a. Aloma in Velvet (2022) [process image]. Courtesy of the artist.