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Harnessing Creative Energy

Makaurau Sessions engages the talents of creative Māori and Pasifika people; from poets and spoken word performers to singer-song writers; visual artists to vocalists; taonga pūoro musicians to tākaro exponents, dancers to actors.

The Makaurau Sessions movement aims to foster a positive and creative Māori consciousness in Auckland City through creative expression. It’s about giving voice to the distinctive imagination and experience of Tāmaki-makau-rau using creativity and the emerging New and urban Indigenous movement as the vehicle.

In 2013 the group met quarterly for a noho marae-based wānanga to communicate their ideasncollectively and explore multi-disciplinary and unexpected creative collaborations. The ideas were then fashioned into performance items, refined and presented as a public showing to a wider audience.

The purpose of Makaurau Sessions is to give voice to ‘Tāmaki-makau-rau’ (not Auckland) through artistic expression. It asks the artists, “How does Tāmaki influence you as an artist?” It also asks, “How can Tāmaki find voice through you?”

Makaurau sessions are still at an experimental stage but there is growing interest from artists and audience. The inaugural Makaurau Sessions event was held at Galatos in November 2012. In 2013 Te Karanga Gallery (KFM) hosted two Makaurau Sessions events. In February 2014 Makaurau Sessions featured as part of the Whare Tapere[1] at Waimangō in Hauraki and hosted interactive workshops as well as performing a set of items on the Aotearoa Stage at Pasifika Festival 2014.

Project Coordinator, Eamon Nathan says “Te Karanga Trust has been hugely supportive of Makaurau Sessions recognising a positive synergy with their aspirations and the kaupapa of Makaurau Sessions. It is important for the success of this initiative that we collaborate with like-minded groups.”

Pip Hartley from Te Karanga Trust adds, “It’s always an honour for us to host Makaurau Sessions here at Te Karanga Trust. The kaupapa and wairua of everyone present is a beautiful and inspiring experience. Weaving the strands of a multicultural community into an organically evolving piece of taonga.”

“We are also exploring collaborative initiatives to integrate Makaurau Sessions with some of the projects being run by the Auckland War Memorial Museum as a means to engage with the diverse communities of Tāmaki-makau-rau,’ explains Bethany Edmunds (Makaurau Sessions Working Group).

Having created good amount of material, one of the priorities for 2014 is to continue to mature the items further both through public performance and potentially some studio recordings. We are also looking to establish more collaborative opportunities with other community organisations and individuals, as well as continuing to grow our group of creative’s.

For information on events and wānanga please visit them on Facebook

[1] A ‘house’ of recreation: performance, storytelling, music, games and other creative pursuits. Please visit https://www.facebook.com/orotokare or www.orotokare.org.nz for more information, images and video from this event.