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'Legacy' Exhibition Finalist in National Museum Awards

Author: Courtney Johnston, Director

The finalists have been announced in the ServiceIQ 2017 New Zealand Museum Awards, and The Dowse is delighted to see Legacy: The Art of Rangi Hetet and Erenora Puketapu-Hetet has been recognised in the ‘Exhibition Excellence – Art’ category.

This 2016 exhibition at The Dowse honoured two extraordinary Lower Hutt artists, master carver Rangi Hetet and master weaver Erenora Puketapu-Hetet. Legacy grew from the close and ongoing relationship The Dowse has enjoyed with the Hetet whanau of Waiwhetu marae—first with husband and wife Erenora and Rangi, and now with their children as well.

Master weaver Erenora (who passed away in 2006) and master carver Rangi are not simply extraordinary artists. They are passionate advocates of toi Māori, of community involvement, and of kaupapa Māori and Māori participation in museums. Legacy was co-curated by Erenora and Rangi’s daughter Lillian Hetet, working with The Dowse’s then senior curator Emma Bugden. The exhibition evolved over four years, and gave all employees at The Dowse an opportunity to engage with and learn from the whanau.

The annual ServiceIQ Awards recognise excellence in diverse aspects of museum practice. This year there are 27 finalists in 8 categories. Expert judging panels selected the finalists in each category, bringing a high level of rigour to the process. “The judges' comments highlight the excellent quality of the entries overall, making their task a difficult one of identifying the best of the best,” said Museums Aotearoa Executive Director Phillipa Tocker. Tocker also noted that the breadth and diversity of the finalists “reflects our changing society and the innovative ways that museums and galleries are working with all our communities.”

The Dowse is delighted by this recognition of Legacy, a project that was very close to our hearts. We look forward to the announcement of the winners at the Museums Aotearoa conference on 23 May, and wish our competition in the category, Te Tuhi (nominated for two excellent exhibitions, The Hive Hums With Many Minds and Share/Cheat/Unite) all the very best.

Opening of Legacy: The Art of Rangi Hetet and Erenora Puketapu-Hetet, Courtesy of The Dowse Art Museum

Opening of Legacy: The Art of Rangi Hetet and Erenora Puketapu-Hetet, Courtesy of The Dowse Art Museum

Opening of Legacy: The Art of Rangi Hetet and Erenora Puketapu-Hetet, Courtesy of The Dowse Art Museum

Opening of Legacy: The Art of Rangi Hetet and Erenora Puketapu-Hetet, Courtesy of The Dowse Art Museum

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