Celebrating Pania; 70 years on

The Breeze in collaboration with Creative Arts Napier

Date: Oct 8 – Oct 22Space: Mezzanine

In September this year, The Breeze in collaboration with Creative Arts Napier staged a very special event.

Mei Whaitiri, the original model who posed for the Napier Pania statue commission when she was just 13, was invited to a private sitting at CAN for nine selected Hawke’s Bay artists.

Supported by her whanau, she spent the afternoon in the company of the artists, seated in a comfortable chair wearing a stately korowai (cloak) and looking as beautiful as she would have done 70 years ago. Mei was photographed, sketched, painted and generally observed while having some insightful conversations about her lifelong connection with the legend of Pania of the Reef.

The nine artists, who include sculptors, painters, a photographer and a printmaker then took their material away to create a piece of work over several weeks to include in the exhibition ‘Celebrating Pania; 70 years on

An additional percentage of artwork sales from the exhibition will go towards a charity of Mei’s choice; in this instance The Hukarere Girls College Chapel Rebuild. As Mei’s old school, this holds a special place in her heart. Some of the artists will be donating 100% of their proceeds.

Te Manawa O Hukerere will be the name of the new chapel at Hukarere Girls College.

In 2003 Hukarere Girls’ College moved its operations from Matahorua, Bluff hill to Herepoho, Eskdale. Along with Hukarere’s students and staff, St. Michael and All Angels’ chapel was also relocated. It was carefully dismantled and placed in storage. Now 18 years later precious Taonga awaits a rebuild it at its forever location at Herepoho, in eskdale.

This chapel was once described as “one of New Zealand’s finest chapels” (Te Ao Hou, 1953, p.32).

Join us in ‘Celebrating Pania’ and view the results of the artists’ endeavours in the Mezzanine Gallery at Creative Arts Napier from 8 – 22 October.

Kay Bazzard
Clayton Gibson
Freeman White
Putaanga Waitoa
John Gisborne
Emily Armstrong
Michele Jung
Helen Dynes
Lisa Feyen

Find out more about ‘The Legend of Pania’https://www.thebreeze.co.nz/home/shows/the-breeze-hawkes-bay/pania-of-the-reef/the-story-of-pania-of-the-reef.html

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