Meet the Creator: Visual Artist Ayesha Green

Portraiture is an art form that has long been used as storytelling and visual artist Ayesha Green (Kāi Tahu, Ngāti Kahungunu) uses it as a way to “tell stories of my whānau and our aspirations and stories” .

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Her inspiration comes from historical images related to how New Zealand’s identity developed. “I look for the tensions between Maori and the colonial empire,” she explains, “or how New Zealand tells stories of itself and how those stories play into our understanding of who we are and who we are. our relationships with each other”.

In recent years, the Auckland-based artist has developed drawings and paintings using kōkōwai, a Maori earth pigment. “It’s an amazing material to use because it’s directly connected to me and comes with its own inherent wairua [spirit].”

Ayesha, 2021 and mom on her wedding day, 2021 by Ayesha Green.

Provided

Ayesha, 2021 and mom on her wedding day, 2021 by Ayesha Green.

Ayesha says a move to Dunedin was crucial for her career as it gave her the opportunity to connect with her whakapapa. The city’s Octagon is where you can see one of his most recent works, Ko te Tūhono, 2021, a cast aluminum replica of the gate to Tamatea, the wharenui of the local Ōtākou marae.

Represented by Jhana Millers Gallery in Wellington, the artist’s next exhibition is at Tauranga Art Gallery from the end of August.

Ayesha's favorite things: At left, musician Dudley Benson.  Right, Hoea!  Gallery and art centre, Gisborne.

Provided

Ayesha’s favorite things: At left, musician Dudley Benson. Right, Hoea! Gallery and art centre, Gisborne.

Ayesha Green’s favorite things

Dudley Benson: I would pay an obscene amount of money to travel back in time and listen to Dudley Benson’s live series live.

Hey! Gallery and Art Center: Run by wāhine Māori, it’s no surprise that this gallery in Gisborne is the best in New Zealand.

Ayesha's Favorite Things: Left, Kauae Raro Research Collective is made up of artists and earth pigment researchers dedicated to the sovereignty of Maori art through whenua and whakapapa.  On the right, a blanket knitted by her mother.

Provided

Ayesha’s Favorite Things: Left, Kauae Raro Research Collective is made up of artists and earth pigment researchers dedicated to the sovereignty of Maori art through whenua and whakapapa. On the right, a blanket knitted by her mother.

Kauae Raro Research Collective: Earth pigment artists and researchers dedicated to the sovereignty of Maori art through whenua and whakapapa.

Cozy blanket: My mom knitted me this blanket and I love it so much.

Briana R. Cross