Whetūrangi (2020)

Maureen Lander with Te Roopu Raranga o Manaia

Location: Internal link space, Waitohi Community Hub, Johnsonville

Whetūrangi is a site-specific artwork comprised of forty-eight woven harakeke forms which stretch across a large internal wall at Waitohi. The title Whetūrangi refers to the starry sky, where the harakeke forms become whetū (stars) against the ‘sky’ backdrop of the wall. The size and shape of every whetū is similar, but each maker’s individual style and creativity can be seen in their weaving.

Whetūrangi evolved over several months of collaboration between artist Maureen Lander and members of Te Roopu Raranga o Manaia (Manaia weavers). The weavers worked in an interactive ‘wānanga’ way, learning from and helping each other despite challenges during the Covid-19 lockdown. Their final designs included star patterns further enhancing their night sky concept. Lander says, “We hope Whetūrangi will inspire young and old in future years to explore star knowledge and the amazing potential of harakeke for creating new artworks and ideas”.

See the whetū in detail and read about Whetūrangi in the catalogue.

Learn more about the whetū in four short video interviews with the artists below. 

About the artists

Born in Rawene, Hokianga, Dr Maureen Lander (Ngāpuhi, Te Hikutu, Pākehā) is a leading exponent of raranga (weaving) and installation art. She has exhibited, photographed, written about and taught Māori art since 1986. Lander was awarded a New Zealand Order of Merit (MNZM) in 2020 for her services to Māori art.

Te Roopu Raranga o Manaia is a group of weavers from Te Whanganui a Tara (Wellington) who meet regularly at Hikoikoi, Petone. The group focuses on facilitating the cultural and social wellbeing of the Taranaki whānui of Wellington Tenths Trust and Palmerston North Māori Reserve through the traditional and contemporary practice of raranga toi Māori.