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Whakarongo ki to Kuia – Listen to your Grandmother

Whakarongo ki to Kuia – Listen to your Grandmother

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  • Mon 8 Aug ’11, 10:00am – 5:00pm
  • Tue 9 Aug ’11, 10:00am – 5:00pm
  • Wed 10 Aug ’11, 10:00am – 5:00pm
  • Thu 11 Aug ’11, 10:00am – 5:00pm
  • Fri 12 Aug ’11, 10:00am – 6:00pm
  • Sat 13 Aug ’11, 10:00am – 3:00pm
  • Mon 15 Aug ’11, 10:00am – 5:00pm
  • Tue 16 Aug ’11, 10:00am – 5:00pm
  • Wed 17 Aug ’11, 10:00am – 5:00pm
  • Thu 18 Aug ’11, 10:00am – 5:00pm
  • Fri 19 Aug ’11, 10:00am – 6:00pm
  • Sat 20 Aug ’11, 10:00am – 3:00pm
  • Mon 22 Aug ’11, 10:00am – 5:00pm
  • Tue 23 Aug ’11, 10:00am – 5:00pm
  • Wed 24 Aug ’11, 10:00am – 5:00pm
  • Thu 25 Aug ’11, 10:00am – 5:00pm
  • Fri 26 Aug ’11, 10:00am – 6:00pm
  • Sat 27 Aug ’11, 10:00am – 3:00pm
  • Mon 29 Aug ’11, 10:00am – 5:00pm
  • Tue 30 Aug ’11, 10:00am – 5:00pm
  • View all sessions


Taylor-Jensen Fine Arts, 33 George Street, Palmerston North


All Ages

Ticket Information:

  • Free Admission

Whakarongo ki to Kuia – Listen to your Grandmother, is a result of a journey of self-discovery that Christall Lowe undertook while researching her female ancestry. She says; “And what a rich ancestry it is! In this fast-paced, digitally enhanced, consumerist world I felt the urge, and even felt beckoned, to rediscover life as my grandmothers had lived. What I found out about them inspired me. Their stories were real. The living was simple. Times were tough and they were tougher! All completely different women, of completely different origins—yet their blood runs through my very veins, and in some respects has made me the person I am today. This is a homage to these incredible women who have gone before me, who have influenced me in ways they could never know, and who I live to make proud. Listen to your grandmother—you never know what you might learn from them.” Whakarongo ki to Kuia will showcase Christall’s recent paintings and decorative constructions using the net-like textile she has developed made from native harakeke flax.

Christall Rata-Lowe (Ngati Maniapoto, Tainui, Ngati Raukawa) was born and raised in Feilding. She has always had a passion for the creative arts and in 2001 completed a Bachelor of Design with a major in Interior Architecture at Victoria University, Wellington. Her creative talent has exposed her to a worldwide stage where she has gained recognition for her work in developing, commercialising and exporting ‘Hapene’ a patented fabric-like product made from the New Zealand flax plant. She continues to live and work in Feilding – the very place where Hapene was conceived and developed. Christall combines family life with overseeing the production of her Hapene product ranges, designing new uses for her flax creations, painting and curating installations. Her enthusiasm for art and design continues to grow, with the exciting development of further works derived from nature’s materials and inspiration. The harakeke flax products that Christall designs and creates have featured in newspapers, magazines and on television including Maggie’s Garden Show on TV1 and Kete Aronui on Maori TV. Her entrepreneurial skills have been recognised by the authors of the books, ’Taking Care of Business’ and ‘Entrepreneurs at Work’.

Rata-Lowe writes about her forebears: “Old Old Nana Alice, of British origin, lived in a big old grey house by the railway lines in Feilding. Her body was small and frail; her long grey hair had always been that way since my mum can remember. Leaning over the coal range, she would shout at the top of her lungs—giving us a fright as one didn’t expect such a loud voice to come out of a body so small—as she was probably stone deaf!

“Nana Bubbee, my great grandmother from Ireland was an interesting, highly energetic character. She lived in a bungalow in Palmerston North, Mallow Puffs always in her cupboard; no fridge for her milk but a larder/cool food safe. A cup of tea was always in a teapot in her tiny little kitchen. Birthdays meant a $5 note in a red envelope. She was a colourful woman who lived an eventful life and spent a great deal of her time with the Chinese community. Her motto for life was ‘Live for Today’.

“Nana Rata had a Scottish father and a Maori mother. She lived in the country alongside a few other family houses. Her house smelled like soup and fry bread. Doilies and lace tablecloths and prettily made beds were memorable.

“Nanny Rangipakaru Ameria Kingi was the great grandmother I never knew and neither did my mother, but I’ve known her face forever as its features have been inherited by every female born since! She was of Maori and English descent, a King Country girl—pretty, gentle looking and by all accounts extremely caring and hospitable.”

Whakarongo ki to Kuia tells a story. “It’s about who I am as a person and what inspires me. From the green plains of the Manawatu, to the rugged King Country hills, the effect of this rich heritage which runs through my veins.”

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