“My work explores my relationship with Māori Culture. My upbringing was dysfunctional and as a result I held myself at a distance from things Māori for many years.
The process of making art has opened up my mind and heart. Learning about the effects of colonisation has helped me to situate my whanau/ personal narrative in a wider context. Participation in Kokiri Putahi, the International Indigenous Artists Hui held at Kohewhaata Marae in January 2014, was a springboard for a journey of wholehearted transformation investigating Maori Art Traditions and Practices This has been recorded through drawing and screen-prints and recently Inkjet Prints.
My journey has involved a fusion of influences, stories, bold colour and tohu (sign). These include Māori creation myths, tā Moko, tāonga held in the British Museum, popular culture, art history, ‘DJ-ing’ and personal narrative. My screen prints are not about a single issue, but rather cover many issues that are interconnected. I am attracted to beauty in whatever shape or form it may present itself to me and hold things that are precious or have cultural significance paramount in my work."
Paora Tiatoa currently resides in Matakana Island and is of Ngapuhi and Ngati Raukawa descent.