Three people who share history are exhibiting in the same space at the same time. Carly Thomas hears their stories.
The three of them sit around the table. Pam Vernon, the mum, is slight and gentle. Ana Mihaera, the daughter, is restless and quick to laugh and James, the son, is calm and expressive. The trio laugh about him being "the tall one in the family".
And they are family. You can see that in the way they look at each other, finish each other's sentences and are as proud as can be of each other's art practice.
They are all artists in their own way and, by a fortunate coincidence, are all showing their work at Te Manawa, Palmerston North, right now in three different exhibitions.
Pam has just completed her batchelor of Māori visual arts at Massey University and is exhibiting her paintings and protest pieces in Matatau.
Ana is part of The Women's Art Initiative's exhibition Ko Wai Ahau? and has her mixed-media anti-violence works on display and James has finished off his bachelor of creative media degree at UCOL and his video is part of Eat Sleep Create Repeat.
They didn't plan it. They just happened to have all been following their own creative paths, which led to the same place at the same time. Pam grins and say: "It's pretty neat eh?"
The three meet at Te Manawa and Ana is the first to point out one of her works. It is in the space outside the entrance, which houses Massey and UCOL's exhibitions, and her mahi is strong and forthright. This one bears the label: "Whitewashed myth: Can't have been that bad or they would have left."
"I started learning about my history and the colonisation process and that's when I started my art. You need to have an outlet. Somethings can be explained and others can't and so this is my avenue."
Ana was brought up in the arms of her activist mother, who has always stood for social justice, and she says her own activism started when Pam took her "in the pushchair to a Māori land march with Whina Cooper". That was in 1975 and now all these years on, her mum is still fighting while also using her art to help communicate what she believes in.
She feels strongly about the place where her family are from and a painting of Jerusalem, a little settlement with a big history up the Whanganui River, spreads wide on Te Manawa's wall.
"We call it Patiarero. That's what it is really called and this painting speaks of the presence of the missionaries and how they renamed everything."
Next to the painting is a collection of images and words that shout.
Pam is vehemently opposed to the use of 1080, a metabolic poison used in pest control, and she has used this space to say exactly that. She puts it in the same bracket as colonisation. "It is taking something away from us.
"It is our land that is being poisoned and our awa and our food sources."
Pam's son tells people's stories too. James has his mum's quietly strong way and on the other side of the gallery space his offering plays in a continuous loop.
wow !!! how totally awesome !! great work !!!! <3
Thanks Deanna :) <3
The exhibition info: POISONING OUR FOOD IS A TIME WORN TACTIC
Yep Danielle the whole issue of white flour and sugar being used as a deliberate neurotoxin is ongoing with pizza, burgers, crappy bread, beer, sugary soda etc being readily available and cheap for the struggling masses.
And also while Maori are used in this historical instance we need to remember that the British working classes were experimented on first by their own rulers and government. Something that's always struck me coming from a family of imports is a lot of colonial descent New Zealanders really don't know the history of the working class British and Europeans.
Well... a lot of us don't really know history its been so messed with... but I was brought up by some extremely well researched British people born around the turn of last century, and their understanding of the world was very different.
One old uncle recalled the terrifying threat of the workhouses and poor houses in London which were prototypes for the concentration camps. In reality it was white slavery for anyone who couldn't make the rent. He also researched a lot of Maori history and taught me more respect for the culture than most pakeha Kiwis I ever encountered. However he also had no illusions about the brutality of intertribal warfare and culture and how social justice programming was going to be used to gloss over that to divide and conquer.
Cue the white shame and guilt when in reality before the advent of the middle classes we were all in the same boat. Cue the anger from repressed cultures to give them a corner to fight. Said pretty much the same things about feminism and the gay movements BTW..how the liberation of women and protection of homosexuals was a necessary but how it would eventually be used as a trap.
Honestly they just keep moving the goalposts on us.
I used to think he was a bit old fashioned but now all the stuff he talked about is coming real. Even talked about the lost Russian empire of the Tartars and wondered how that got wiped out of history. He would have loved whats going on here on the questioning end of the internet..this uncovering has gone multigenerational. I like that a lot.
Truth there in what you say CP. I only discovered the scottish clearances a few years back. All hidden from us weren't they these histories. The thing I like least about the British colonial tactics was their stepping in as friends. Much like sexual abuse. Dr Hirini Meads puts it well into the friendly accommodation phase, the wars of domination phase & the myth making phase the latter we're talking about here. An enemy with clear intent can be met on the same grounds. But the befriending tactic coupled with the Gospel, well that to me is very deceptive & totally not indicative of a so called Christian nation. But yes you are acknowledging their 'sins' in what you say there. How fortunate you were to have those British rellies around you. My only British rellie was my nan on mum's side. And she was all in awe of the Queen and had no idea of the real nature of that system. Sadly. Her mother's generation would've experienced the enclosure acts & all that those entailed. So glad we're all waking up to the lies and deception now. As they move the goal posts ... so true!! Thanks for your thoughts CP. Appreciated.
Yes its all been very very shifty the way things have been carried out...the stepping in as friends issue, yes well quite...hindsight is 20/20 as they say. And the things that have gone on under the banner of Christianity is a whole other story.
At the moment, in light of the current "mud flood" research Im extremely suspect about recent history. Its been obvious to me for decades that ancient history (of all cultures) had been messed with but its a game changer when you realise the history of the 1800s has been seriously tampered with as well. This has major implications for what we know of the recent settling of NZ by Brits, Irish and Europeans. Highly possible the land clearances and other diaspora of the 1800s is a cover for another event entirely.
Something is not adding up yet again.. and its a funny thing that for years people would comment that this country feels like a massive social experiment. Oh the truth in that! LOL
One thing I do know, the mass of disinfo about our respective cultures has done its job well, divide and conquer while diverting attention from the real culprits. Some call them the elite but parasites is a more accurate term. Ewww!
Exactly, well said. Parasites definitely. At back of their activities I have noticed freemasonry of course. Another eye opener, Who Owns the Land by Kevin Cahill. Quite a spiders web the whole thing really.
Havent heard of that one thanks...Northland is absolutely rife with Freemasonry. Where there are Scots there are the Scottish rites, how well we have been deceived.