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Margaret Aull

Fiji ki Aotearoa (2011)
Digital composite
Dimensions variable

Artist Statement
I have always adored political posters and social commentary through high impact visuals and slogans. Mum was a protester so I always see her as a hero in my eyes – part of movements to right injustices for our people.

This 19th Century representation of a Fijian Warrior holding traditional weapons was an image that I had seen frequently over the years and then again surfaced as a screen print in the work of Ema Tavola. Here, the proud warrior holds the Fijian ula in one hand and a Tewhatewha, a Māori mace or type of spear used for parrying and heavy blows, in the other.

Red is the sacred colour of Papatuanuku – Kōkōwai. The use of the term WAKA refers to the traditional drink of yaqona (kava), bringing with it customary protocols that belongs elsewhere but found here. ‘Waka’ in a Māori sense is a vehicle of transportation, a vessel that speaks of whakapapa and the bringing of people together.

The Pūhoro Design again reflects Aotearoa, the Fijian Warrior stands firmly in Aotearoa. The Pūhoro itself a marine design, originating from the Te Arawa waka, (waka for Tuwharetoa).

Margaret Aull has paternal links to Fiji and maternal links to Aotearoa (Te Rarawa, Tuwharetoa). Margaret holds a Bachelor of Media Arts from Waikato Institute of Technology and was awarded the Waikato Museum Arts Post Award for Outstanding Academic Record in 2006. She has exhibited extensively throughout Aotearoa since 2005 and held her first solo exhibition, Na Kena Yali at the Chartwell Gallery inHamilton in 2008. Margaret is currently employed as National Arts Registrar for Te Wananga o Aotearoa, based in Te Awamutu. Inspired by both her Fijian and Māori heritage, Margaret also draws inspiration from artists Hiria Anderson, John Pule, Shane Cotton and James Ormsby.

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