Acrylic, kōkōwai, natural dyes, and shellac on aute and sailcloth
1020 x 660mm
While studying at the University of Hawaiʻi in 2013, Nikau Hindin learned that tapa (or paper mulberry bark cloth) had once been made in Aotearoa, where it was called aute. She became interested in ‘remembering’ the tradition, and has been engaged in perfecting the production of painted aute since. Hindin has also studied celestial navigation of the sort practised by the peoples who centuries ago explored and made their homes throughout Te Moana-nui-a-Kiwa (the Pacific Ocean). Her works are typically made of aute and natural pigments, and often include references to the stars, even serving as charts. This piece honours Kapu Na Keiki, a group of young navigators with whom the artist spent time (she has called them ‘the future leaders of the voyaging tradition’). It is unusual in that it takes as its substrate not only aute but also part of a sail used in a voyage from Hawaiʻi to Rapanui (Easter Island) made by the waka hourua (double-hulled boat) Hōkūleʻa in 1999.
Nikau Hindin: Kōkōrangi ki Kōkōwai, Dowse Art Museum, Te Awakairangi Lower Hutt, Aotearoa, 20 June to 4 October 2020