Kreative Kreators gallery opens in Whangārei

By Tumamao Harawira

It's been a long Covid winter for Northland artists. But now art collective Kotahi Kreators has opened a new art gallery in Whangārei that celebrates the arrival of Spring and gives a much-needed platform for aspiring, as well as well-known Māori artists in Northland, to display their artwork.

Leni Murupaenga, creative director of Kotahi Kreators asks what better way could there be to celebrate the changing of seasons?

"The theme for the art exhibition is Koanga or Spring and the idea that is coming out of one season into another. The show also represents resurrection and a new beginning as well."

"I've noticed a lot more people wanting to have a look through the window and wanting to engage with our artists and the artwork. So I think that the space here will be beneficial."

Kotahi Kreators is a group of more than 30 artists from the Northland area and they say this new exhibition is an example of the thriving art community in the North.

Aspiring and established Māori artists display their craft.

Korotangi Kapa-Kingi, one of the artists from the collective, has a work on display and says Covid was tough going for artists.

"I have a piece here, which is a print. Our crew made the print of a Pohutukawa, to symbolise all that kōrero in regards to Matariki."

"During Covid, many artists just sat in their own dens feeling pretty lonely and wanting to interact with people like them."

Although the gallery has barely been open a week, the artists are already seeing results.

"We did have a couple peering through the window this morning, and they were from Germany, and they purchased the first piece. So I thought instead of keeping the doors shut, nau mai haere mai."