Tame Iti collaborates with artist Owen Dippie for Auckland exhibition

By Kimiora Kaire-Melbourne

Artists Owen Dippie and Tame Iti have worked on projects together in the past, and now the pair have teamed up to collaborate on a series of painting for their upcoming exhibition in Auckland.

The exhibition Ko Koe Ko Au (You and I) will open at 6pm on February 27. The two artists have combined their signature styles to tell a story of unity, strength, respect and understanding.

Iti says, “New Zealand as we know it is in the midst of being re-colonised by American and corporate interests through the TPPA. We have seen this type of cultural erosion before. The new works speak about how Māori have dealt with this reality and offers it to everyone. My collaboration with Owen shows how Māori and Non-Māori can work together for a common goal. This is how we build a nation, with you and I.”

Iti and Dippie collaborated last year to create a mural in Tāneatua.

Dippie says, “The Idea for this exhibition came out of a mural that we worked on together in Taneatua. I painted the portrait of one of the local Tūhoe kuia (female elder) and Tame added the landscape and his little people behind her, adding the depth of generations standing in support.

Working with Tame has felt very natural. He is completely fearless when it comes to breaking rules and trying new ideas. Like myself, Tame believes art is a universal language that we can use to communicate, create conversations and build relations.”

The exhibition Ko Koe Ko Au (You and I) featuring combined works from Tame Iti and Owen Dippie runs from February 27th to March 31 at the OD Gallery (545 Karangahape Rd, Auckland).