Ahi Toi is a tribute exhibition to Dr Sandy Adsett, showcasing the broad ranging influence of his work as an artist and as an arts educator through a group exhibition of artworks made by artists who have studied under his tutelage, benefitting from his skills, knowledge, mentorship and manaakitanga. Artists in Ahi Toi are alumni of Toihoukura School of Māori Art in Gisborne where Adsett taught from 1992-2002, and the Toimairangi School of Māori Art in Hastings where Adsett was principle tutor from 2003-2021. Through the success of their individual art careers, these artists pay homage to Adsett’s legacy.
In honour of Adsett’s ground-breaking kōwhaiwhai practice, Ahi Toi highlights the work of artists who operate predominantly in painting. Artists featured in the exhibition include, Aana Adsett, Walter Dewes, Shanon Hawea, Andrea Eve Hopkins, Rina Kerekere, Tai Kerekere, Randal Leach, Hiwirori Maynard, Johnny Moetara, Kawariki Morgan, Michelle Nichols, Miria Pohatu, John Poi, Henare Tahuri, Tawera Tahuri, Darryl Thomson, Kylie Tiuka, Mike Tupaea, Nick Tupara, and Mohi Watene.
The exhibition title was gifted by painter and tā moko artist Victor Te Paa and co-curator/artist Hiwirori Maynard. It refers to the collectively shared commitment to keep the fires of Māori culture alive through art. Victor Te Paa’s paintings will be shown in an accompanying solo exhibition in the Pātaka Toi Gallery entitled Wero.
Artwork image courtesy of Walter Dewes.