It’s two days to go before we open our Kahu Ora Living Cloaks exhibition – and time to give you a little preview of what you will be able to see from Friday 8 June.
When an exhibition opens and all the taongataonga treasures Māori | Noun | listen are in place, the graphics are up, and the lighting is done it’s hard to imagine all the work that’s been going on to get the exhibition installed.
Last week, at a quiet moment, they let me into the gallery to see how things were going. Here is Sam, one of our exhibition team installers, preparing the case and mount to display the unique huru kuri, dog-skin pelt, cloak which we featured in an earlier blog post.
The exhibition graphics are the work of graphic designer, Wol Jobson – here he watches over the install of some of the larger wall graphics.
And finally, before I give away too much – here are several kākahu installed in their cases but carefully covered up until later this week when the conservators will come in and remove the covers.
The whakataukī, or saying, that you can see on the wall speaks to one of the ideas key to this exhibition:
Ko te taura whiri, he whiri i te tangata
The muka (flax fibre) cord is like the cord that connects people.
Muka is the silky fibre extracted from the leaves of harakeke, or flax. After hours of skilled preparation Māori weavers use this muka to weave the kaupapa, or foundation, of a kākahu.
So cloaks, or kākahu, are all about connections – the threads that weave us together as people, and the stories that connect people and kākahu. Come and see for yourself, in Kahu Ora Living Cloaks from this Friday 8 June.