Te Popoto o Nga Puhi Ki Kaipara.
Born at the start of World War 11, Colleen is a foundation member of the national Maori Clay Collective, Nga Kaihanga Uku and occasionally cheekily referred to as the ‘Matriarch of the Muddies’. Her career has focused on the promotion of contemporary Maori art over a long career: education and academic studies, as art teacher, through regional and national selection, coordination and curation, publication, overseas promotion, through networking with other indigenous artists and agencies and as a committee member of Te Atinga. Her work over the last decade reflects academic studies into the ancient clay culture of the Pacific peoples known as the Lapita, whose legacy of decorative dentate patterning on pots she believes to have been transferred throughout Polynesian to the art forms of tattau (tattoo, tapa, and weaving, reaching a height of expression in the work of Maori women weavers in the superb borders and hem decorations of superior hand woven cloaks. The patterning on her own pots reflects links to that ancient Pacific heritage and the meaningful patterns used in Raranga, Taniko and Tukutuku, by Maori women weavers.
“Working with clay means working with the body of Mother Earth, she who influences and sustains us physically and spiritually.”
Her work has been exhibited throughout New Zealand, United States, the United Kingdom, Australia and Canada.
MAORI ART MARKet 2011, Porirua, New Zealand.
MAORI ART MARKet 2009, Porirua, New Zealand.
Co- Author for the book Te Kahui O Matariki: Contemporary Maori Art for Matariki.
Toi Maori: Small Treasures in San Francisco, United States.
South Pacific Festival Exhibition, Pago Pago, American Samoa.
Mini Masterworks 11, Vancouver, Canada.
MAORI ART MARKet, Wellington, New Zealand.
Maori Art Meets America, San Francisco, United States.
Manawa, Vancouver, Canada.
Kiwa: Pacific Connections, Vancouver, Canada.
Sisters Yakkananna/Kahui Mareikura in Adelaide, Australia.
Fusion: Tradition and Discovery, Vancouver, Canada.
Haka, London, Edinburgh, Belfast, Great Britain.
Te Atinga, Bath, England.
Mana Wahine, Tucson, United States.