KURA: Embodied Mana Wahine

Donna Campbell

  • 20 Feb - 1 Mar, 2019
  • Opening preview: Tue 19 Feb, 4 - 6pm

Join us on Tue 19 Feb from 4pm, for the opening of KURA : Embodied Mana Wahine by Donna Campbell. (Ngā Puhi and Ngāti Ruanui). 

Donna Campbell is a practicing artist and Senior Lecturer in Creative Practice, at the Faculty of Māori and Indigenous Studies at the University of Waikato.

Donna’s research is focused on investigating embodied Indigenous knowledge in the art forms of Māori weaving arts. Donna is a passionate practitioner in the fields of raranga and whatu, creating sculptural garments and installations. KURA : Embodied Mana Wahine focuses on the embodiment of atua wahine in sculptural works that encase and re-present the body and the space that surrounds it.  

This exhibition is the culmination of Donna’s recent research and practice and is the creative component of a PhD from the University of Waikato.

“Imagine you are on a continuum of past present and future, in the present while connected to the past and creating for the future. Kairaranga are open to this experience through the materiality of the practices of raranga and raranga whatu. As kairaranga we create taonga informed by the creative genius of our tūpuna from the native plants of the land. These ageless practices and the taonga we create are permeated with our own present realities. The taonga then carry this tūpuna knowledge into the future.

KURA : Embodied Mana Wahine is an expression of the creative journey of theory and practice inspired by tūpuna knowledge in the art forms of raranga and raranga whatu. The practices of raranga and raranga whatu not only transform the materials the kairaranga is using, but also the kairaranga themselves. These practices become self-affirming, culturally affirming and ultimately decolonizing.”    Donna Campbell

Donna has worked on many community projects and continues to align with projects that interweave artists and practitioners. She is an ardent advocate of the fibre arts as contemporary expression and continues to extend the current discourse of Māori fibre arts practice in Aotearoa. Current projects include still/moving image fusion with performance aspects and constructed identities.

Join us at 4:00pm for a blessing and welcome to Ramp Gallery followed by refreshments.


1.  Kairaranga is the term used to describe weavers of native fibres. In particular the weaving of basketry leaf textile.
2.  Raranga is the weaving of leave material, and whatu is the off loom process of twining muka, the internal fibre of the harakeke leaves.
3.  Taonga are tangible, intangible and culturally significant. Encompassing language, tikanga knowledge and practices.
4.  Tūpuna are our Ancestors.