Maia Robin McDonald
Maia Robin McDonald — 'Manu aute', 2023
Through this group of silver clay works, Maia McDonald explores Māori concepts of creation and being. She picks up on the thoughts of her mentor, Wi Taepa ONZM, who has drawn an analogy between the clay pot and the fundamental structures of te pō (the realm of darkness) and te ao mārama (the realm of life and light), respectively represented by the inside and outside of the vessel. The movement from te korekore (the realm of potential being) to te whaiao (the realm of coming into being) and te ao mārama is evoked through the use of black, silver, and white. This primordial, cosmic process becomes a figure for the generative force underpinning McDonald's work with hand, clay, and fire.
Tribe, Iwi. Te Ati Āwa, Parihaka. Sub tribe, Hapū. Ngāti Mutunga Statement: “My practice addresses ideas about the human condition and our relationship to the environment. I acknowledge value creation as a primary concern while developing and growing my artistic practice”. My professional practice is housed primarily in uku (clay). I do, however, consider myself a cross-disciplinary artist; one who has been exhibiting for the past fifteen years in Aotearoa, and abroad. I completed my Bachelor of Fine Arts (with honours) at Massey University, Wellington, and in 2017 was awarded a Diploma in Māori Art and Design, having studied under Māori master uku Artist, Wi Taepa. While completing my studies in Porirua I initiated and was responsible for running the Wellington Clay Collective. I have exhibited and published work annually since 2006, and had my first solo exhibition in 2015. Artworks have recently been acquired by The Dowse Art Museum, Wellington, and my work is held in public and private collections including the Wallace Arts Trust, Wellington Museum, Puke Ariki Museum, and more recently the Wellington City Art Collection. I have been employed within the government and local council, representing my hapū(sub tribe) and iwi(wider tribe). There have been many highlights during my career, however, working with H.R.O Helen Clark to promote the creative sector, outsider artists, and prison artists, was a defining moment. So too was working towards the repatriation of the Motunui Epa Panels, now returned and on display at Puke Ariki Museum and Libraries, Taranaki. I am represented by Season Gallery in Auckland, Aotearoa.
Everyone’s heard of a dragon
Curated by James Lemon and Bobby Corica
11 November 23 – 27 January 24
Material: red raku clay pit fired with silver spray paint
Dimensions: approx. 18 x 25 x 17cm