Moana Tipa first began developing ideas and experimenting with drawings for her current exhibition, Kōrero Koe; Kōrero Au in 1987. The works now showing at Forrester Gallery, in Oamaru, are the coming together of ideas and her long-term vision.

Moana (Ngāi Tahu, Kāti Māmoe, Ngāti Kahungunu, Celt), developed her ideas further when she returned to her Ngāi Tahu/Kāti Māmoe roots and worked with Ngāi Tahu artists between 1997 and 2001.
“I started drawing and painting in 1957 – I’ve always made work but didn’t formalize art study until 2010 when The Learning Connexion in Wellington offered a scholarship to paint. I’ll complete full time study this year.”

The exhibition is a tribute to her late father, Thomas Rangiora Tipa and tipuna of Moeraki.
“This is where the thinking comes from; it’s part of the legacy we’ve inherited. I’m honouring that.”

The works are inspired by the waka Ārai Te Uru and relationship between oceans, earth and sky. Moana says the paintings were informed by the notes of Joseph Pita Tipa (1896) about the waka Ārai Te Uru and 138 ‘survivors’ of the waka, whose names have been given to rocks, hills, ranges, mountains, streams and rivers in the landscape between Kaikōura and Kaitangata.

Although she is a writer by trade, art making and the written word are tools that give her leverage to navigate and formalise her thinking.

Kōrero Koe; Kōrero Au, her first formal exhibition has been made with assistance from the Ngāi Tahu Fund, The International Learning Connexion, The Hocken Library – University of Otago, Ocean Voyaging Society, Te Ara – The Encyclopedia of New Zealand and the Forrester Gallery Oamaru.

The work will be on display at the Forrester Gallery, Thames Street, Oamaru until Sunday 16 November. The gallery is open daily from 10.30am-4.30pm.

To find out more about the exhibition visit Moana’s website

One of Moana's mixed media artworks.

One of Moana’s mixed media artworks.