Heron Park Harmony Festival to celebrate Maori culture


Mihi Manuirirangi-Betham and Gavin Grace. Picture: Jon Hewson d482509
Mihi Manuirirangi-Betham and Gavin Grace. Picture: Jon Hewson d482509

CELEBRATE Maori culture and the traditions of tattoo, Haka, song and cuisine at a special harmony event next Sunday.

Camillo’s Gavin Tuatahi Grace has co-ordinated a collection of large-scale photographs depicting Ta Moko tattoo designs for the Pakiwaitara exhibition, which will run as part of the Heron Park Harmony Festival.

Mr Grace, the founder of Art vs Depression, said the photographs were coupled with personal stories from the subjects about the meaning behind their tattoos.

“Pakiwaitara (Story) exhibition is a continuation of the work Art vs Depression does in our communities and it is one of many projects, programs or events that we create to build stronger and resilient communities,” he said.

“One of the pieces is called Te Hikoitanga (Journey) and it is the story of a young women and her partner that found themselves homeless and living rough here in Perth for nearly a year (and) their ability to overcome the struggles and adversity, find a way to better their situation and eventually have their own home, employment and found a homeless charity to help others that are currently homeless.

“We encourage anyone to visit the exhibition to give value to the people who had the courage to share their personal stories, witness how art has a more powerful role to play in our communities than decorating walls and learn and experience the beauty and rich heritage of our Maori culture.”

The exhibition will also include Maori carving and craft demonstrations, performances and cuisine.

The Heron Park Harmony Festival will celebrate cultural inclusion and unity with a range of events including music and dance, turban tying, sari styling and a range of free have-a-go activities.

The Heron Park Harmony Festival is at Jim and Alma Baker Park, Harrisdale, with the Pakiwaitara exhibition to be held within the park’s Baker’s House.

The festival and exhibition are on May 20 from 11am to 4pm.

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