In this work, Maioha Kara takes as her starting point the iraira star pattern common in tukutuku panels (the distinctive Māori artform used to create decorative panels in wharenui meeting houses). Kara is particularly interested in that point on tukutuku where the vertical strips fold into and disappear under the horizontal bars. The harakeke intersects and, in the cosmology of a wharenui, becomes a transcendental material. 

The work is a form of abstraction, using shape, form, and composition to express what the artist regards as the essence of reality. For Kara, iraira represented by the domes have become shorthand for energy, especially light energy.

In the artist’s words, the iraira “operate as acknowledgement of our cosmology, our origins and the very essence of energy. Together with the light-diffracting properties of glitter, they can take on the appearance of orbs composed of moving light energy.”

The orbs of up to 1.5 metres in diameter point to the night sky, but are grounded below, hugging the soil..

While viewing the work, Kara would like you to move towards and away from it, and observe how your perspective on it changes as you take in fragments close up or its entirety from a distance.

“What impression [people] leave with is out of my control, however my hope is that they perhaps leave in thoughtful contemplation of the expansive, exciting intangible,” she says.





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