Urban Drift

20 November 2014 – 15 January 2015
Papakura Art Gallery
Akura Makea-Pardington, Allan MacDonald, Andy Leleisi’uao, Edith Amituanai, John Vea, Leafa Wilson aka Olga Krause

In Aotearoa, the term ‘urban drift’ connotes both the shift of people from rural to urban areas and, more importantly, marks the significant historical moment during the post-World War Two
period when large groups of Māori moved from rural locales to urban centres and townships in seek of work, education and adventure. This movement gave birth to the notion of ‘urban Māori’. The economic prosperity of the post war epoch also gave rise to the most prominent period of temporary and permanent migration from the South Pacific Islands to New Zealand. Unlike Māori who were shifting from rural to urban areas, Pacific Island migrants moved from different Pacific Islands and settled directly into urban centres of Herne Bay, Ponsonby and Grey Lynn. Parallels between the notion of urban Māori and the complexities laden in the notion of urban Pacific Island identity continues to push critical discussion of the urban as a driver of creativity. As the impetus for this exhibition, the loaded history of the urban drift connects the past and present and provides a loose framework to explore themes of site, labour, migration, and issues of ownership and place.

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