The pioneer of an innovative art form known as toi maikuku or Māori nail art says her mahi is a form of tino rangatiratanga.
Nail technician Te Rangiroimata Kutia-Tataurangi creates art commissions on large canvases down to artwork the size of a fingernail.
“Given I am the only person in the world practising this type of mahi, for me it’s a way I can pursue my own passions and to continue to show others that even though it's niche, it’s my passion.”
Kutia-Tataurangi was a nail technician before starting this new endeavour of creating Māori inspired designs on nails and will be one of the many talents at this year’s Te Tairāwhiti Arts festival, which starts today.
“I am really excited about this. I have created 10 fire nails, that represent Mahuika and also represent the narrative of Maui and whakapapa. This is a first for me on these types of mediums, so I’m really excited for the opening tonight.