As part of Intercreate’s Media Art Project Ko Tatou te Tangata a series of meetings and discussions with local iwi Ngati Tawhirikura were held, co-ordinated by Kura Puke and Stu Foster. One of the consequences of these discussion was that local historian and Puke Ariki Poutiaki Taonga Glen Skipper gave a talk about Te Rewa Rewa pa, at the pa site. One aim of the Media Art Project is to direct a laser from Katere Ki Te Moana marae to Te Rewa Rewa pa. The laser will carry audio contributed by local tangata whenua (people of the land, as Maori refer to themselves). The pa, now uninhabited, is a large site on the New Plymouth foreshore.
The two sites are connected by whakapapa (genealogy) people and history. Where once there was large settlement at Te Rewa Rewa, now the closest marae is Katere, which is several kilometres away. To direct laser light across the whenua (land), through the night sky carrying traditional knowledge and awareness is to re-awaken connection to place, and the project has facilitated this process greatly.
When standing on Te Rewa Rewa, the look and feel is that of farmed land, with a large open flat space at a good height for local visibility and indeed the land is leased to a farmer presently. Pieces of history are everywhere, with small entrances to mid 20th century structures, and pits in the flat plateau. The story of this land, its people, events, the politics, intrigue, comings and goings rise from hidden earth as Skipper takes us further into this place and it’s surrounds. Here, buried from everyday consciousness and awakened by the project are the many energies that constitute the living past, the veil having been lifted in the most delicate way by the efforts of Puke and Foster.