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Te Arawa Hero Mural wall Aronui Indigenous Arts Festival

Pānui Pāpāho | Media release

05 September 2019

A wall located on the side of Ajays Emporium on Hinemoa Street in Rotorua has been announced as the spot for a large mural of a Te Arawa hero who has contributed to the arts.

Ngāi Tūhoe artist, Taumata Soloman, is painting the ‘Te Toki Te Arawa Hero Mural’ as part of this month’s Aronui Indigenous Arts Festival.

Mr Soloman, who will soon begin work on the mural, says he’s honoured to have been asked to contribute to the festival.

Taumata Soloman

“I was stoked to do this and more than happy to provide my pūkenga (skills),” he says. “The person I’m painting means a lot to me, and I believe I can bring the true beauty of this person to life through colour.

“I’ve been artistically creative from a very young age, however it’s only been over the past few years that I’ve realised what I can actually do. I love that I have the ability to express myself through art and bring to life visions and ideas in a contemporary, yet Māori way.”

Numerous events have been organised as part of the Aronui Indigenous Arts Festival, which celebrates, inspires and shares through indigenous arts.

The festival includes theatre, kapa haka, Māori language, traditional and visual arts and film.

Mr Soloman says he loves that Aronui is touching on all aspects of indigenous arts.

“It’s our first one and it’d be cool to see it blossom and grow. Te Toki has been a huge opportunity for me. Art is my passion.”

Taumata Soloman aims to complete the wall before the end of Te Wiki o te Reo Māori with a ceremony unveiling it due to be held on 29 September.

Mr Soloman is due to start painting the mural this Saturday, 07 September and Sunday, 08 September. Please feel free to visit him and see him work during daylight hours.

Examples of Taumata Soloman's work