Maharatia is a tā moko pop up space in Commercial Bay that will be curated and open for three weeks during the Matariki period, as part of the Whānau Mārama project curated by Māori artist Jade Townstead.
Tā moko artist Graham Tipene will oversee the space during this time and along with other Ngāti Whātua artists. Tā moko will be taking place, as well as traditional Uhi (chisel) moko by artist Moko Smith. The Ngāti Whātua Weavers, Te Puāwai Weavers, will also be in the space doing Tukutuku and Raranga.
The artists will be running two wānanga called Mataora - Kauae Conversations for anyone contemplating taking on traditional facial tattoo but are yet to make a solid decision. These wānanga are an informal place for wearers of facial tattoo to sit with people who are on a journey to receiving these markings.
The Maharatia space will have Taonga Māori on display but the focus of the space is to encourage dialogue between Whātua artists and members the public. Maharatia is an activation space for all to come and share. Sales and commissions can be discussed directly with the artists who are present but the main focus is to activate the space with Toi Māori, Whakaaro Māori and Te Ao Māori.
You can find Maharatia on the ground floor of Little Queen Street, with a roster of all events in the space on display on the window. It is located across from the Seawall Beams that are on display. These beams will be the screen for the Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei imagery and videos that will be playing from the projector during Matariki Taimoana.