Crystal Te Moananui-Squares

Image: British Library

Image: British Library

Crystal Te Moananui-Squares is of Ngati Hako descent and grew up in Wellington, New Zealand. She is a photographer who celebrates the uniqueness, success and contribution of her community to create a positive narrative for generations of Tangata Moana.  Her recent exhibition Tūhuratanga - Voyage of Discovery was shown at the British Library.  Ka whangaia, ka tupu, ka puawai - that which is nurtured grows then blossoms.

EXHIBITION Tūhurutanga: Voyage of Discovery, July 2018 British Library, London

Tūhuratanga is a series of contemporary portraits created over three months by London based New Zealand Mâori photographer, Crystal Te Moananui-Squares (Ngāti Hako), in collaboration with New Zealand Māori producer, Jo Walsh (Ngāpuhi).

The images depict people of Te Moananui a Kiwa (The Pacific Ocean) living in the United Kingdom today. The portraits are a celebration of the strength drawn from, and the love they have for, their diverse and respective cultures in Aotearoa New Zealand, Cook Islands, Nuie, Wallis & Fortuna, Samoa, Fiji, Tokelau, Tahiti, Marquesas and Hawai’i.

Each portrait is connected to the British Library exhibition James Cook: The Voyages through an image, object or piece of text on display.  Some of the people in this series connect back to the journeys, being direct descendants of the tribes with whom James Cook, and his crew, made first contact.

EXHIBITION Mana Moana | Mana Wahine, May 2019 Raven Row, London

WĀHINE, 2019 Large format photographs, 3 x 841mm x1189mm

These three portraits are an exploration of the Mana of wāhine and a celebration and confirmation of the roles that wāhine inhabit within our communities today. Wāhine are our life bringers, cultural guardians, organisers, leaders, nurturers, activists and teachers of our future generations. These wāhine are from the same community as the photographer. These wāhine embrace their respective cultures and are role models, protecting the mana of the wairua, sharing knowledge of traditional craft, dance, tikanga maori and speaking for those that cannot. These are not fantasy creations of exotic otherness or documents of vanishing cultures. We come from living breathing cultures, our cultural identity is strong.

WĀHINE,  Large format photographs, 841mm x1189mm, 2019 Image: ©2018 Crystal Te Moananui Squares

WĀHINE, Large format photographs, 841mm x1189mm, 2019 Image: ©2018 Crystal Te Moananui Squares

WĀHINE,  Large format photographs, 841mm x1189mm, 2019 Image: ©2018 Crystal Te Moananui Squares

WĀHINE, Large format photographs, 841mm x1189mm, 2019 Image: ©2018 Crystal Te Moananui Squares

WĀHINE,  Large format photographs, 841mm x1189mm, 2019 Image: ©2018 Crystal Te Moananui Squares

WĀHINE, Large format photographs, 841mm x1189mm, 2019 Image: ©2018 Crystal Te Moananui Squares