PUAKI

12 September - 29 November 2020 | Golden Homes Gallery

In Māori culture, it is believed everyone has a tā moko (tattoo) under the skin, just waiting to be revealed. However, when photographs of tā moko were taken in the 1850s, the tattoos barely showed up; the wet-plate photographic method used by European settlers erased this cultural marker. As the years went by, this proved true in real life, too, as the ancient art of tā moko was increasingly suppressed. In the exhibition, photographer Michael Bradley has re-claimed the near-obsolete wet-plate photographic technique as an original and striking way of showing the resurgence of the art form of tā moko.

Image credit: Gary Shane, Michael Bradley