Matariki Hao Tāngata – Matariki, a Remembrance. Māori portraits 1970s – 1990s.
A retrospective of black and white photography from Kapua Joy Bennett (Ngāti Ranginui, Te Whānau-ā-Apanui).
Kapua discovered photography as an artistic medium while attending Wellington Polytechnic Design School in 1969. For more than three decades she was a prolific photographer. She captured thousands of images on subjects such as Māori life, street scenes, protests and quiet domestic moments.
Kapua provided the drawings of moko for Michael King’s book Moko: Māori Tattooing in the 20th Century (1972).
She published a calendar: Kuia – Tauranga Moana in 1994. Her black and white portraits of kuia in their 80s and 90s showed her gift for photographing kaumātua and having them to open up to her.
“I wanted to see them as they were, naturally. When I’d talk to them one-on-one, you let them relax and get a better shot. You catch the essence of the person.”
This year the Matariki exhibition and calendar includes new portraits of kuia and kaumātua and of others who have passed on. We remember those gathered up and returned in the season of Matariki.
Kapua’s marae in Tauranga is Wairoa Marae; her hapū is Ngāti Kahu. Born in 1951, she is equally a child of Te Whanau-ā-Apanui, growing up near the shores of the Wairoa River and in Te Kaha.