Left to right: Makiroa Ngakaokaoiti, Moerau Leon Luka-Fortes, Valmai Gibbs, Victor Peach.

How it began.....

MKV was born, on a Sunday afternoon at the Mooring Fish Cafe, in Avana, Rarotonga in January 2021. I was having lunch and drawing at the cafe, when a couple I had met at the airport with a cousin, opened the invitation to join their table with their friends. Mama Helen saw the artwork and suggested I created something, with our grandparents. I went home and reflected and began the process, thus MKV was created.

M acknowledges Makiroa Ngakaokaoiti, our grandmother from Mangaia and Rarotonga and Moerau Leon Luka Fortes, from Mitiaro and Atiu.

It also represents Masella, my middle name that I have been signing art with since I was 15

K represents our tupuna Taniera Tangitoru, our grandmother's grandfather, a taunga of carving on Mangaia. His grandfather was Numangatini, ariki who had 5 wives. We come from the 5th wife Tuteenuku. Taniera created toki, adzes with the double K Mangaian motif. This depicts Raumea and Tuanuku, brothers protecting their tribe with their backs together and is seen on almost all Mangaian carvings.

V acknowledges Valmai Gibbs our grandmother from Scotland and Victor Peach from England and Ireland. Vaerua Ou, means new spirit, as on our journeys our spirit is ignited and sparked.

I am thankful for the day at the Mooring Fish Cafe and the advice given by our mamas and papas, that has opened new doors. Meitaki Ma'ata.

Art here, is a combination of life experiences, ideas and thoughts about the world. I was born and raised in South Auckland , Aotearoa New Zealand and after high school went to University for a couple of years. Moved to Australia in 1994 and worked up and down the East Coast in hospitality.

During this time I discovered VCM Vibrant Celestial Meditation; founded by Sri Bhai Sahib Ji. Bhai Sahib interpreted a dream I had to study medicine and our grandparents also passed away.

In 2003 I went to medical school. After 12 years in the field, I now work for a local NGO Cook Islands Family Welfare Association and visit Ara Pa Metua, Creative Centre, Te Kainga and Tereora College.

I hope you experience something here that moves your soul.

Art and cards for sale at Little Red Gallery, Te Ara Cultural Centre and Museum, and Island Craft, Rarotonga