I’m looking forward to local photojournalist Qiane Matata-Sipu‘s first solo exhibition opening this week at Mangere Arts Centre – Ngā Tohu o Uenuku in South Auckland. The exhibition honours Ihumatao, a semi-rural community situated on the edge of the Manukau harbour in between Auckland Airport’s industrial belt and the densely populated suburb of Mangere. Qiane has a vibrant photographic practice and an impressive portfolio of published writing; she is a busy creative entrepreneur working with a strong basis of love and respect for Māori and Pacific communities.
This exhibition is refreshing to see at Mangere Arts Centre, a locally funded arts facility that seems to struggle to deliver relevant visual arts programming. In what feels like a naturally aligned programming decision, I hope this exhibition signals a shift in awareness for the role of locally funded arts facilities in serving and responding to the communities they sit within.