Artist Profile

Kura Te Waru Rewiri Ferner Represented Artist

Born 1950

Kura Te Waru Rewiri has been painting since 1985. Born in Kaeo, Whangaroa, in the Far North she is the eldest of nine children to Sam and Geneva Davis. She was educated at Northland College and Bay of Islands College. Her art teachers were Selwyn Wilson and Buck Nin respectively. While at Bay of Islands College in the late 1960s, Buck Nin arranged for her enrolment at the Ilam School of Fine Arts at the University of Canterbury. There she gained the Diploma in Fine Art (hons) in painting and submitted a thesis on stone tool carving.

Kura has taught art since 1975, in secondary schools, tertiary institutions, universities and Whare Wananga. She is currently lecturing part-time in Maori Visual arts at Massey University, Palmerston North where she has lectured off and on since 1996. Previously, she was one of two first Maori appointments to the Elam School of Fine Arts, alongside prominent Maori artist Selwyn Murupaenga.

Kura began painting seriously in 1985 out of an Otara garage, and has since held solo exhibitions nationally annually. She is acknowledged as a leading New Zealand painter who also contributes works to contemporary Maori exhibitions, in this country and overseas. Her work has been shown in groundbreaking exhibitions of contemporary Maori art including Maori Art Today, an exhibition which toured the country in 1986-87 as a contemporary accompaniment to Te Hokinga Mai - Te Maori; Mana Tiriti (Wellington City Art Gallery, 1990) and Te Waka Toi; Contemporary Maori which toured the United States and New Zealand between 1992 and 1994. Her paintings are held in prestigious collections nationally and overseas such as the Museum of New Zealand: Te Papa o Tongarewa, Wellington, Auckland Art Gallery, The Waikato Museum of Art & History, Dunedin Art Gallery, The University of Auckland and the National Art Gallery of Australia, Canberra. In 1991 she represented New Zealand in a Print portfolio called Hope and Optimism in support of the establishment of a national art gallery in Namibia. Through this inclusion, the portfolio has been included in a number of public collections throughout Europe.

Her works have been documented in many books including 1990; 'Two Hundred Years of New Zealand Painting' (by Gil Docking with additions by Michael Dunn 1970-90, Auckland: Bateman) and Edward Lucie-Smith's 'Race, Sex and Gender' (1994, London: Art Books International). Her work has also been the subject of a monograph 'Kura Te Waru Rewiri: A Maori Women Artist' by Camilla Highfield (2000, Wellington: Gilt Edge).

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