Pounamu Wharekawa

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Artist bio

Pounamu Wharekawa (Ngai te Rangi, they / themme / ia) is an angry indigenous bad bitch, fine artist, illustrator and muralist. They make art that speaks about intersections of identity through the lens of a queer, small town turned urban Māori living their best boring life in the big smoke of Kirikiriroa.

Pounamu’s art often straddles the line between the surreal and the mundane, seeing beauty in the everyday and balancing quiet moments of peaceful introspection with undertones of inherited outrage. 

Their work is traditional pūrākau meets urbanised brat, using vibrant palettes to imagine a world where their ancestors and atua live on in technicolour; dancing alongside them in the club and sending them memes on Instagram. 

Pounamu is riding a wave of rediscovery and reclamation, reaping the benefits made through the work of those who came before them and striving to make the journey easier for those who come after.

IG: pounamu.pounamu

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