Ngaroma Riely

Shared Lines Co-founder and Shared Lines: Pūtahitanga exhibiting artist

Stage face (2020) acrylic on cedar

 

 

Ngaroma Riley is a project coordinator, people connector and artist of Te Rarawa, Te Aupōuri and Pākehā descent. Ngaroma began her carving journey while living and working in Japan. She has recently returned to NZ from Sendai, and is living the dream studying whakairo at Te Wānanga o Aotearoa. Despite the adrenalin rush, she hates earthquakes, loathes tsunami and thinks nuclear energy is a load of rot.

I've always been a compulsive maker, but the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and subsequent disasters left me devoid of any creative energy. Three hundred thousand people uprooted and 20,000 dead or missing was too much to bear. Our favourite haunt, a small fishing village a few kilometres from our home was reduced to rubble and swampy piles of people's belongings. At the time, I was just grateful that our family was intact.

Later that year, I coordinated with a Japan-based kapahaka group to perform at a temporary housing settlement I was volunteering at. It was my first taste of home and humour in a while, and before long I had joined the group.

Waiata, a whānau unit and laughter was in many ways my saving grace. My comical series of embarrassing kapahaka scenarios is a reflection on my years as an enthusiastic but mediocre performer: the lopsided pukana, a dropped poi...

 

Shared Lines: Pūtahitanga 2020

Blocking out evil (2020)

 

 

Blocking out evil pays homage to the carvings at Toshogu Shrine, a pictorial maxim of the proverb, "see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil.” It's a playful reference to the power of resilience, especially in the midst of a global pandemic where conspiracy theories abound.