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