Toi Maori Gallery

Kohai Grace

Kohai Grace

Kohai Grace,
Ngāti Toa, Te Ati Awa, Ngāti Raukawa, Ngāti Porou.
Ringa toi (artist), MMVA (Masters in Maori Visual Arts)

Kohai Grace lives amongst her Ngāti Toa relatives on their ancestral land at a place called Hongoeka, situated by the sea, north of Wellington, Aotearoa, NZ.

Kohai first learnt weaving on a course run from the Wellington Arts Centre in 1986; and has been weaving ever since. She has participated in many exhibitions nationally and abroad, including two solo exhibitions. She has also undertaken commission work and included woven garments for a number of fashion shows.

Kohai says her highlights over time have been in producing work for her whānau, iwi and for her own marae at Hongoeka in Porirua where she lives.

Kohai now teaches an art degree programme at Whitireia Polytechnic in Porirua, with particular focus on art forms of (Māori) weaving.

Kohai is other-wise working in her "studio", which she says is
at her home surrounded by the sea, bush and birds.

Inspired by the historic woven garments she has viewed in museum and private collections, Kohai describes her muka (flax fibre) work as being her own interpretations of these;

"I create art for today's eyes, whilst retaining the ancient customary weaving methods and materials of old".