Alexis Neal: New Works

Alexis's new body of work builds on a suite initiated through an artist residency at Tylee Cottage in Whanganui. Alexis pays homage to a remarkable Maori woman, Pura Te Manihera McGregor (1855 – 1920). Pura was a "wahine toa" (warrior woman), community leader and the first Maori woman to receive an OBE. Alexis bridges both past and present in this exhibition merging the boundaries between taonga and contemporary art with a series of lithographic and woven works.

The suite of Carte de Visite (calling cards) lithographs were made while on the Tylee cottage residency, these works were created to set the scene of the period Pura lived in and try to capture the essence of the woman. These 14 paired small lithographic prints look closely at early 1900s portrait photography and are boxed framed and hedged displayed as free standing objects.

Nostalgic imageries of early photography of the Whanganui River inspired three medium size lithographs depicting the area Pura was born and where her tribal affiliations occupied the upper River.

The Whariki (woven works) are a new extension of this work that represent Pura’s contemporaries, the Raranga Whakairo (plaited pattern weaves) are exploring notions of war, Waharua and interpretations of Mumu, strongly significant to Whanganui. 

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Title: Whenua Ora
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Title: Wainui-a-rua
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Title: Hine Ngakau
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Title: Tupuna
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Title: Te Awa
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Title: Whare Tangata
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Artists in Exhibition: 
Alexis Neal
Date of Exhibition: 
17 February - 19 March
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