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Maori Art Market planned next year as World Cup event

Press Release – Morrison McDougall
The highly successful biennial Maori Art Market will be staged in Porirua City next year as a major showcase event for teams and tourists in Wellington for the Rugby World Cup.

The event has grown over the past decade into the country’s biggest collection and sale of contemporary Maori art. Previous events have attracted international and local collectors wanting to talk to and buy work from more than 200 leading and emerging artists.

Creative Director for the event, Maori artist Darcy Nicholas, says one of the Maori Art Market’s biggest strengths was having the artists on site and able to demonstrate making or performing their art and being available to talk to buyers about its meaning or inspiration.

“The 2011 Maori Art Market will give the international tourists an opportunity to take home genuine Maori-made artwork and sample our unique culture that will serve as a lifelong reminder of their World Cup tour of New Zealand,” Mr Nicholas said.

Compared to previous events Mr Nicholas said the organisers were planning to add further diversity during the Rugby World Cup event. In addition to the high quality contemporary art for sale (that includes Maori paintings, sculptors, weaving and jewellery), a new feature will be a focus on haka, the traditional Maori demonstration of defiance and strength, that precedes the New Zealand All Black games.  

Porirua was the home of the Ngati Toa Chief Te Rauparaha, who composed the original haka that was adopted by the All Blacks. Mr Nicholas says there will be performances of haka by various teams representing individual composers, and clubs, followed by debate and discussion.  

And on hand to assault senses of smell and taste will be internationally acclaimed Maori chef Rex Morgan, who is presently with the Boulcott Street Bistro in Wellington. He will lead a team of Maori chefs with displays and tastings of quality modern food that uses some traditional Maori food ingredients and match them with wine from Maori-owned vineyards.

Originally shown in San Francisco City as “Maori Art Meets America”, then in Wellington and Porirua City, Maori Art Market is the major biennial showcase of contemporary Maori Art, staged as a partnership between Porirua City and Toi Maori Aotearoa.

General Manager for Toi Maori Garry Nicholas said the partnership with Porirua City and the facilities at the Te Rauparaha Arena worked exceptionally well last year and would enable further expansion as the Maori Art Market continues to grow and evolve.

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