Born 1969 Kaitaia, Aotearoa New Zealand
Lives and works in
Oxford, Aotearoa New Zealand
Areta Wilkinson’s practice explores whakapaipai concepts of Māori personal adornment in the context of bicultural New Zealand. She is concerned with histories of contact, geneaologies and knowledge, as well as drawing maker connections between the cultural production of her ancestors and her own objects. Her recent work represents an ongoing investigation into the history of Māori wearable taonga (treasure or prized possession) in regard to her iwi (community) in Te Waipounamu, the South Island. Her objects include references to moa bones. Moa were flightless birds once endemic to New Zealand that became extinct in the pre-colonial era. Wilkinson as a moa hunter descendant rescues personal adornment from the domain of systematic archaeology practiced by Museums. Inspired by her research into the customary tools, materials and objects her ancestors manufactured, Wilkinson applies stone technologies and ‘archaic’ tools in an activity of recalling, drawing on customary forms and traditional methods to create new forms.