“He Kaakano Ahau is a celebration and portrayal of the strength and beauty of our people set on our land”

 

Mikaara Kirkwood, Image: David K Shields,
Weaving: Kiri Nathan, Pounamu: Jason Nathan

 

Devon Toi & Maia Cotton, Image: David K Shields,
Weaving: Kiri Nathan, Pounamu: Jason Nathan, H&M: Jon Kopae

 

ARTISTIC COLLABORATORS
JASON NATHAN
KIRI NATHAN
DAVID K SHIELDS
ASTLEY NATHAN

He Kaakano Ahau (HKA) started with a chance meeting between Kiri, Jason and David K shields in 2010.  The discussion of creating a body of work that truly celebrated the Strength, Pride and Beauty of Maoridom in an artistic forum excited the artists no end.  We planned ways of collaborating all the skills we had in our kete (basket) and pulled our very first shoot together. The need for this project to be documented became apparent immediately, so we enlisted the skills of our eldest son Astley Nathan to start documentation.  We have learnt so much on this journey and more importantly met some of the most incredible people who have opened their homes and hearts to us…..The HKA Whanau (family) has grown tremendously over the past 6 years and the project has garnered attention from galleries in Paris, New York and London….We are looking to go into production and publish a book in 2017.  The body of work will be presented in the form of an exhibition at home in New Zealand followed by an international tour, we are truly excited to share HKA with you…

THE VISION

Capturing and presenting two stories of Maori today.  A visual celebration told through the eye of the camera lens, supported by installations of Maori artworks in the form of raranga (weaving), whakairo Pounamu (pounamu carving) and Moving image documentation.

Our people wearing Maori art forms created by Kiri and Jason Nathan using both traditional and contemporary materials and techniques, consistently looking to push design boundaries.
Imagery celebrates the natural strength, pride and beauty of our people and our land.  The focus is purely on the “positive”
Moving image documentation covers the behind the scenes story. The journey of “He Kaakano Ahau” and all the incredible people who have become a part of the “He Kaakano Ahau whanau” (family)
You are invited to listen to our stories, be taken to breath-taking untouched New Zealand locations, and celebrate in traditional and contemporary Maori 

Danielle Hayes, Image: David K Shields, Weaving: Kiri Nathan,
Pounamu: Jason Nathan, H&M: Nikki Paton Carradine


TWO STORIES ENCAPSULATING MAORI IN TODAYS WORLD

Hiria Mcrae, Image: David K Shields,
Weaving: Kiri Nathan, Pounamu: Jason Nathan

STORY 1 - TE PUUTAKE
He kaakano Ahau "I am a seed" is the overarching theme, the whanau aspect is "Te Puutake" the root, the basis, the beginning, essence.  Te puutake being whanau, and all that binds us together.  Tangata Whenua, people of the land, Whanau-family, Whakapapa-genealogy/heritage.  Capturing Maori of all ages in a New Zealand landscape or at their respective Marae (carved meeting house).  Proud, strong images of the connection we have to our Whenua (land), each other and our Tipuna (Ancestors).  Some subjects have Moko Kauae (chin tattoo) and Moko Kanohi (full facial tattoo).  The images are supported by the Whakapapa (genealogy) of all people, Pounamu and weaving.  Supportive information on who, where and why particular people were photographed in certain locations enriches the storytelling.

Eden Bristowe, Image: David K Shields,
Weaving: Kiri Nathan, Pounamu: Jason Nathan

STORY 2 - KAUPEKA   
As we look at the modern and creative off shoots that can grow from Te Puutake the second story is of "Kaupeka" our branches.   In the way creative and modern Māori are branching off, spreading open, knowing they have Te Puutake as their strong base. The individuals photographed for this story are our leading Maori models, actors and creatives.  They represent the movement in modern art and fashion.  We are celebrating who we are as Maori in a creative and styled format. Some of the people we photograph will have moko kauae (chin tattoo) and moko kanohi (full facial tattoo).  The images will be supported by the Whakapapa (genealogy) of all people, Pounamu and weaving.  Supportive material on who, where and why particular people were photographed in certain locations will enrich the story telling.
 
ARTISTS
JASON NATHAN
Pounamu carver
Ngapuhi, Ngati Whatua
Ko Ngatokimatawhaurua toku waka
Ko Puhanga Tohoroa te Maunga
Ko Managtawa te Awa
Ko Hokianga te moana
No Nga Puhi me Ngati Whatua oku Iwi
Ko Ngai Tutearu toku hapu
Ko Pukerata toku Marae
Ko Te Rau Tawa I Nui toku Wharenui
Ko Jason Nathan toku ingoa
KIRI NATHAN
Weaver, Fashion Designer, Stylist
Ko Ngapuhi me Tainui oku iwi
Ko Ngati hine me Ngati maru oku hapu
Ko Otiria me Pororini oku marae
Ko Matatua me Tainui oku waka
Ko Hikurangi me Taupiri oku maunga
Ko taumarere me Waikato oku awa
Ko Kiri Nathan toku ingoa
DAVID K SHIELDS
Photographer
Dunedin New Zealand
ASTLEY NATHAN 
Documentary
Ko Ngapuhi me Tainui me Ngati Whatua oku iwi
Ko Ngati hine me Ngati maru oku hapu
Ko Otiria me Pororini oku marae
Ko Matatua me Tainui oku waka
Ko Hikurangi me Tupiri oku maunga
Ko taumarere me Waikato oku awa
Ko Astley Nathan toku ingoa

 

Talea Tatupu, Image: David K Shields,
Weaving: Kiri Nathan, Pounamu: Jason Nathan

Ruanui Dalton, Image: David K Shields,
Weaving: Kiri Nathan, Pounamu: Jason Nathan

Erin Ahuriri, Image: David K Shields,
Weaving: Kiri Nathan, Pounamu: Jason Nathan

Thank you to Creative New Zealand and Poutama Trust for your belief and support