In Māori cosmology, the rising of the Matariki constellation, and the star Puanga, marks the beginning of the new year. Artist and textile designer Angela Kilford's (Te Whanau A Kai, Ngāti Porou, Ngāti Kahungunu) exhibition Te Māra Tautāne explores and celebrates invisible whakapapa connections between the earthly and celestial realms at Matariki.
Photographing and manipulating images of Aotearoa New Zealand's natural environment; flower blossoms, tree bark, and tuatara skin, the artist seeks to express the ecosystems and multiple ancestries these living beings share. Tangaroa ā mua, the first moon phase of Matariki, is depicted by the small white flowers of the Ngaio tree, evoking the whakapapa story of Rona and the moon, where Rona is plucked from earth, and taken to the moon whilst holding onto a Ngaio tree.
Kilford sees these lightbox images as a contemporary urban māra tautāne, which is a traditional, ceremonial garden, planted in offering to Matariki.