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Titokowaru's Dilemma - Marion Maguire

Titokowaru's Dilemma - Marion Maguire

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  • Fri 10 Jan ’14, 10:00am – 4:30pm
  • Sat 11 Jan ’14, 10:00am – 4:30pm
  • Sun 12 Jan ’14, 10:00am – 4:30pm
  • Mon 13 Jan ’14, 10:00am – 4:30pm
  • Tue 14 Jan ’14, 10:00am – 4:30pm
  • View all sessions


Taupo Museum, 4 Story Place, Taupo


All Ages

Ticket Information:

  • Free Admission

Contradictory worlds collide in this visual commentary of war and peace.

The exhibition is by New Zealand printmaker Marian Maguire, who has produced twenty seven lithographic prints and etchings for Titokowaru’s Dilemma. It focusses on the thoughts and actions of the charismatic Riwha Titokowaru, who was involved with the Taranaki land wars in the 1860s and later in the passive resistance movement at Parihaka.

Maguire said she chose Titokowaru as the primary character because she admired him. "He was a very, very bright man, and he was capable of changing his thinking, which not many people can do," she said. "He won the battles but lost the war. The process of colonisation was too big."

Maguire's prints show Titokowaru discussing his ethical dilemma with Socrates, the Greek philosopher, who said people should keep thinking all through their lives. It explores the issues of land ownership and confiscation.

The production of these prints involved extensive historical research and learning the psychology and philosophy behind Titokowaru’s actions. Maguire used many iconic New Zealand paintings, carvings and sculpture during the exhibition’s creation, and the Taranaki landscape features prominently.

Maguire’s research included Titokowaru’s religion of Hauhau, and the political scene in 19th century New Zealand. Over the three years it took to produce the exhibition, Maguire spent time visiting many of the sites of Titokowaru’s tumultuous life. She also spent time on Whanganui River and became interested in the story of the Whanganui kupapa who fought against him and were led by Te Keepa Te Rangihiwinui.

Taupō Museum is able to host this exhibition with the help of funding from the Creative Communities Scheme. Maguire’s “The Labours of Herakles” was shown at the Museum in 2011 and was hugely popular with locals and visitors alike.

Titokowaru’s Dilemma is showing in the main gallery at Taupo Museum from Saturday, November 16 until January, 14 2014. Taupō Museum is open seven days (except Christmas day) from 10am to 4.30pm. Entry is free to children and Taupō district residents with proof of address.

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