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Exhibitions | Galleries | Studios | Street Art | Art in Public Places | Ōtautahi Christchurch and Canterbury

Kulimoe’anga Stone Maka, Tukutonga (Leaving Home)


In Tukutonga (Leaving Home), Kulimoe’anga Stone Maka’s new works are very much sharing in his reflections on the realisation of ‘leaving his village, families and friends in Tonga to seek out a better life’, and one intended for his art and his family.  Immigrating to Aotearoa in 2000, he studied art, design and painting at the Whitecliffe College of Art and the Design and Manukau Institute of Technology, followed by the decision to move to Ōtautahi Christchurch in 2005.  

Central to his practice in 2024 he has sustained his commitment to painting through an ongoing dedication  to researching and gaining further knowledge of Ngatu Tā 'Uli (Blackened Tapa Cloth), which remains central to his practice.  In his exhibition at the Jonathan Smart Gallery in May, Tukutonga (Leaving Home), the gallery space looked and felt like a celebration of the artist as virtuoso on many levels.  Stone Maka’s distinct choice of materials, working his canvases with smoke and enamel and spider webs, all seemed in a varied and reassuring context about place and being with one another.  

This was an exhibition that, through the very action of walking into the space of the gallery ignited a welcoming conversation between works and gallery visitor, pleased to share in the company of one another.  On one level, this was about an iconography of circles, rectangles and parallelograms, sharing in their conversations and space with one another, also encouraging the gallery visitor to feel welcome into any and all unanticipated conversations.  

Entering the exhibition from the street, a grouping of three works; Hehenga (diptych), Mahina Kātoa, and Fisi’i Tongo, played off on a relationship of circular grouped forms, seemingly  establishing a conversation with one another, yet also appearing to equally be sharing this association with three further paintings on the gallery wall to the left of them:  Fihia, Konga Holo, and Umusī, the red and white rectangles in Fihia, implicit in directing attention to the border lines of the paintings below, Konga Holo, and Umusī.  Indeed, the presence of each work was singular and resolute, and in being so, they seemed pleased to be sharing in the visual conversations that they collectively brought to the occasion.  

In this series of new works by Kulimoe’anga Stone Maka he evocatively reconciles a formal relationship about painting as a means to measure and define its own physical presence and also give voice,  assurance  and warmth to the very nature of being.


DETAILS:  Kulimoe’anga Stone Maka

Tukutonga (Leaving Home)

Jonathan Smart Gallery, 52 Buchan Street, Sydenham

11 May - 1 June
IMAGE:  Kulimoe’anga Stone Maka, Tukutonga (Leaving Home), installation from left: Hehenga, 2024,  Mahina Kātoa, 2022, Fisi’i Tongo, 2022,  Fihia, 2023, Konga Holo, 2022, and Umusī, 2023, all paintings are ‘smoke, enamel on spider webs on canvas

Kulimoe’anga Stone Maka, Tukutonga (Leaving Home)

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