FAFSWAG has been given the opportunity to speak with the artist from the group exhibition entitled ‘When Can I See You Again?’ opening on the 16th of February at FRESH Gallery Otara as part of the 2017 Auckland PRIDE Festival. We got to ask the artist some questions about their workand the show. Check out this Q&A with Ana Te Whaiti
What is your name and how do you identify?
KiaOra my name is Ana Hirani Te Whaiti & I identify as a queer woman.
What is the title of your work and what was your intention for this work?
“Rere” is the title of my work. Rere means “FLY” which is a term my late Nan Ripeka Inia Taylor used, “Forever Love You”. I create this work in her memory as she was a proud & staunch lesbian. For me I would like to acknowledge my past, present & future. So creating garments that reflect my Maori heritage and knowledge of raranga (weaving), showcase my skill set as a pattern designer & artist & anticipating what this means for my work in the future is exciting for me.
Please tell us about the show and what it means to you?
I’m proud to be a part of a crew who are very conscious & aware of themselves and their surroundings. People who are prepared to stand up for what they believe in & question what does not sit right with them. “When Can I See You Again?” Is a chance to create work in response to these things that we ponder & connect with people if the same sentiment resonates.
What is your relationship to the artists involved in this show?
We’re friends, who happen to be artists who share similar experiences, so we united to create a platform for ourselves to share our work.
What is the significance of hosting this show at FRESH Gallery Otara?
I’m a gal from Hawkes Bay and Gisborne, so represent East Coast hard! I lived in Wellington for almost 10 years, so I feel like a foreigner here in Auckland- true story! I probably feel most comfortable in South Auckland, where I’ve made good friends, there’s people that look like me & food that I will happily go out of my way to get. I’ve attended artist exhibitions at FRESH Gallery, so it’s awesome to be able to share my work here and to also bring attention during the Auckland Pride Festival down south.
What can people expect from this exhibition?
“When Can I See You Again?” is a “multimedia, multicultural exhibition of emerging artists & explores female sexualities, desire, power and safe spaces.” We welcome everyone into our safe space at FRESH Gallery Otara and hope they would feel inspired & empowered by the works of the strong wahine who will be showcasing their work.