Robert Jahnke (NZ)
Considered one of New Zealand’s leading contemporary Māori visual artists, Robert Jahnke (Ngai Taharora, Te Whanau a Iritekura, Te Whanau a Rakiroa o Ngati Porou) will be at Spark to talk about his current practice; the relationship of his practice to the art of tukutuku (Māori lattice work); and significant moments in the development of the tukutuku from the 19th century into the new millennium.
His practice over the years has also crossed into the realms of design, illustration and animation, but since a solo exhibition in 1990 Robert has maintained his practice in sculpture, painting and neon installation with a number of commissions and exhibitions. He is represented in a number of major national and private collections in Aotearoa New Zealand.
Robert is also responsible for setting up the first Māori Visual Arts degree in a university with the Bachelor of Māori Visual Arts in 1995, a Postgraduate Diploma of Māori Visual Arts and a Master of Māori Visual Arts, both in 1999, and is the former Head of the School of Māori Art, Knowledge and Education at Massey University in Palmerston North.
He now works as a Professor of Māori Visual Arts for the Toioho ki Apiti Māori Visual Arts programme, contributing to Māori development through his teaching at undergraduate and postgraduate level, his research into traditional Māori carving, and his academic writing straddling art education, contemporary and traditional Māori art, and identity politics.