Artbeat issue 26 March 2021
Michel Tuffery "Te Moana Nui a Kiwa"at The Central Art Gallery
Written by Warren Feeney
In collaboration with writer and academic Dr Karlo Mila, printmaker Michel Tuffery’s Te Moana Nui a Kiwa, features new digital drawings, (and prints from the Handle with Care Series), that resonate within the 30 year history of his arts practice.
Tuffery’s partnership with Mila has seen the realisation of the digital video Mana Moana 2020 Meditation which plays in The Central Art Gallery throughout the period of the exhibition. In response to Mila’s poetry, Tuffery brings forth the life of the Pacific region and the universe; birds and sea life, forests, clusters of stars, the ocean and more, all come together in an ebb and flow of time uniting past, present and future.
Mana Moana 2020 Meditation is the perfect introduction and point of entry to Tuffery’s accompanying seven ink prints. Evolving from the artist’s drawings in response to Mila’s verse, ancestors, oceans, mother and child and constellations assert their presence in the gallery space against the ‘blackest of black’ inks. It is a reminder of Tuffery’s commitment to the authority of printmaking as a means for dramatic and confronting images. (Certainly, it is possible to imagine the subjects of Mana Moana 2020 Meditation as a series of woodblock prints).