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Joan Ropiha

Rongomaiwahine, Ngati Kahungunu

Joan has served as secretary for Tidal Arts Incorporated Society and assistant curator/salesperson for Gifted Sands for 4 years. Her main art forms are painting, printmaking and taaniko.

Joan's art has been informed by studies on the environment and Maori culture. They explore a geometric abstract language which is distilled from landscape forms, looking at the language of tukutuku and weaving patterns. Since returning to her whenua, Joan has been exploring the idea that whenua is tangata whenua; the people and the land are one and the same. The forest's degradation is reflected and echoed in the people. The old ones are dying and there aren't the younger generation coming through; the forest dwindles and the front pae becomes empty.

Maungawhio Lagoon has been Joan's main study. She believes that telling the stories through artwork is more relevant, expressive and reaches more people than the academic thesis approach. Joan wants to explore the environmental issues coming through and slowly change people's point of view of the lagoon.

Galleries showing Joan's work include:
Kura gallery - Wellington, Taupo.
Maioha Gallery - Napier
Artspace - Tokoroa


MA (Maori Studies), MEnvst