He Tangata The People, is the first major survey of works by Paakiri-based painter Star Gossage (Ngaati Wai, Ngaati Ruanui) emerging from her wahine-based, female centred world.
It expresses the view that people are bound by wairua, whenua, whakapapa and whaanau - spirit, land, ancestry and family.
Spanning a 20-year period, the exhibition highlights her use of portrait and figure in the landscape. In portraying her day-to-day reality, themes of unity, grief, resilience, and aroha/love emerge.
Star paints people from memory and does not set out to depict specific individuals in her paintings, although people do emerge through the process. At times, those depicted are hybrids of herself and others. In this way, her evocative and emotional paintings show us how identity is fluid and collective, how relationships are primary, and how one is necessarily part of the many.
Image credit: Pā Girls (2013) by Star Gossage.
Exhibition developed and toured by New Zealand Portrait Gallery Te Pūkenga Whakaata.