I Sea a Vessel Filled With Tea: A Sculptural Practice Exploring Day-to-day Wāhine Ways Through Whakapapa Layers
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This thesis engages in a sculptural practice to explore concepts of wāhine and whakapapa and the complexities these concepts bring to lived realities of wāhine. It is upheld by a scaffold of Māori and Indigenous academics, philosophers, thinkers, and artists that assist in revealing many layers of whakapapa through a strong wāhine lens. Using ‘the everyday’ as an opportunity to incorporate Māori ways of knowing and seeing allows for the unpacking of Māori knowledge systems that embrace and empower, uplift, and inspire through a practice-led sculptural practice. Notions of whakapapa as a kaupapa Māori research method and conceptual tool are used to explore the layers and responsibilities of be-ing a mother, partner, friend, artist, and wahine Māori. This project explores how whakapapa heightens these responsibilities and impacts wellbe-ing through object mak-ing and social gestures, specifically highlighting relationships of wāhine to nature, earth mother, Papatūānuku and the relationship with her as the material uku. The thesis finds ways of understanding ‘the everyday’ through sculptural strategies that honour concepts that include Māori ways of knowing through object-mak-ing practices, valuing what it means to enhance and empower wāhine. Furthermore, it locates a space where wāhine daily realities can be understood in context but allows freedom to walk in-between spaces with confidence.