Ātea is the space you come into before entering a marae, where the tangata whenua and the manahuri come together. The marae atea is also the domain of Tūmatauenga, the god of war, therefore a it is place suited to open debate and discussing contentious issues.
My third block course was art place, I chose the Elice St Quarry as my location and created a three final paintings based on a video I made while climbing a tree at the quarry. The paintings represent my interpretation of Atea in the quarry, the coming together of the sky and trees. I created 3 a1 acrylic paintings to create an immersive feel of movement, as if you were experiencing the coming together of the trees and sky.
My paintings are an interpretation of the trees (of the land) and the sky coming together and could be interpreted as an atea space between the masculine and feminine. Many cultures view the land as female and the sky as male ie. Gaia and Zeus in Greek mythology or Ranginui and Papatuanuku in Maori. Pakeha constructions of Maori cosmology have historically marginalized female figures (Mikaera) in accordance to colonial views of gender roles giving males greater importance. It is important to think about how paintings can be viewed from different worldviews to use different interpretations of the painting to create a resonating painting with different walks of people.
Mikaera, Ani. “Maori Women – Caught in the contradictions of a colonised reality.” 1994. University of Waikato