Topic: Arts

Artists Owen Dippie and Tame Iti complete Tāneatua mural

By Kimiora Kaire-Melbourne
  • Waikato/Bay of Plenty

The small town of Tāneatua has been given a splash of paint by artists Tame Iti and Owen Dippie.  The pair collaborated to create a mural for all to see as they pass through Tāneatua, said to be the gateway to Te Urewera.

Photo taken by Erin Dippie.

About a week ago, Dippie took to instagram to announce that he would be working with Iti. 

Owen helped paint the mural free of charge as a gift to the Tūhoe people.  He says, “Tame and I both have a mutual understanding that art is a language that we can use to communicate.”

The mural took two days to finish and the completed work is titled “Ma mua a muri ka tika”.

Photo taken by Erin Dippie.

A prominent Tūhoe kuia is the focal point of the art work.  Tame spoke with several Tūhoe woman and asked who they thought was the face of the nation and as a result, Hokimoana Tawa was chosen to adorn the wall.

Tame then rang Hokimoana Tawa to ask whether she was willing to be the subject of the mural and although she was surprised at first, she agreed.

Tame had seen Owen's work and knew his talent would help bring his vision to life.  After meeting in person, Tame felt a connection with the artist and once he knew he was the man for the job, the collaboration was underway.

Following the Tūhoe settlement and the Police apology for what was dubbed the "Tūhoe Terror Raids" in 2007, Tame Iti says that the mural is a way for Ngāi Tūhoe to build a nation and bring the iwi together.

Iti says, “It’s about creating an image in Tāneatua for Tūhoe.  Hopefully, if Tūhoe say, well we can put more images around Te Rohe Pōtae o Tūhoe, in Waimana, Ruatāhuna, Waikaremoana - the four corners of the nation of Tūhoe.”

This is only the start for Tame Iti and Owen Dippie who have another collaborative project in the works.  They plan to hold an exhibition at the Tāneatua Gallery and the OD Gallery (545 Karangahape Road, Auckland City) in December this year.

“This is the beginning of my collaboration with Owen.  I trust him, I love his work,” says Iti.

Last year Te Kāea did a story on the Tāneatua Gallery which was set up to inspire youth and provide a space for Tūhoe artists to display their work.

Also, earlier this year Owen Dippie painted a giant mural up to three storeys high peering out beside a busy Auckland motorway.  Tania Cotter, a good friend of Owen Dippie, was the subject of the art work.

Below is a video of the captivating mural.


The mural can still be seen at 30 Upper Queen st, Auckland.