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Tia Barrett HEADSHOT

Tia Barrett’s Biography

Last Updated:
5/05/2023, 8:12 am
Te Ao Māori lens-based practice
Arts Foundation Springboard 2023
Ngāi Tahu, Ngāti Mamoe, Te Rapuwai, Waitaha, Ngāti Maniapoto, Ngāti Tamainupō
“Incredibly humbled and overjoyed with being awarded with the Springboard award this year. It’s arrived at a perfect time in my life where I am coming back to my creative practice after some years of absence. Before finding out I even got this award I made a commitment to myself that since I returned to post graduate study and now completed my MVA, that I was going to make a full-time effort to devote myself entirely to making art with love and compassion. This award gives me a seriously massive step forward in that direction and I am not looking back. Let’s go!”

This Springboard Award is gifted by the Todd Trust.

Tia Barrett is an emerging Māori moving image practitioner and photographer. Her current art practice is firmly grounded in celebrating her wahine Māori identity, and deepening her connection to her whenua me o ngā tūpuna through a lens-based practice.

Tia is a recent first-class honours, Master of Visual Arts graduate from Auckland University of Technology. Her thesis He Pounamu Ko Aū: Celebrating my mana wahine Māori narrative explores identity through a kaupapa Māori worldview – unfolding through moving image, pounamu pūrākau, mōteatea, experimental ambient soundscape and installation. Her thesis was created for healing, and artistically expressing Tia's story of overcoming the adversity of colonisation, and her reconnection to her indigenous woman identity. In it, she draws on her maternal whakapapa to celebrate intergenerational wāhine talent.

He Pounamu Ko Āu
traverses the application of a mana wahine Māori paradigm and brings forth knowledge from whakapapa, whakawhānaungatanga and wairuatanga. It explores conceptual identity framework of a pounamu pūrākau methodology developed by Dr Alvina Jean Edwards – Tia's mother – and unpacks the questions "ko wai āu? No whea āu? Who am I? Where do I come from?". Tia has taken this conceptual identity framework and moulded it to fit the medium of film, mōteatea and installation, allowing the audience to engage with a uniquely indigenous take on what it is to see through the lens of pounamu. Filmed entirely in Te Waipounamu, He Pounamu Ko Āu activates a distinctive film-making process that evokes healing and connection.

Tia also has a Graduate-Diploma in Communication from Massey University, an Honours degree in Media Arts from Wintec and a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in screen and media from the University of Waikato.

Tia Barrett will be mentored by 2019 Arts Foundation Te Tumu Toi Laureate Louise Pōtiki Bryant.

Louise Pōtiki Bryant is a choreographer, dancer, video artist and film-maker. Her iwi are Kāi Tahu, Kāti Mamoe and Waitaha. She is a founding member and choreographer for Atamira Dance Company, and has choreographed for companies such as The New Zealand Dance Company, Black Grace Dance Company and Ōrotokare, Art, Story, Motion. With her practice she aims to honour her whakapapa, mana wahine, and mātauranga Māori, and is dedicated to the creation of works which inspire the care, protection and regeneration of the whenua, moana, and waterways. Louise also has a body of solo and collaborative works, such as the highly acclaimed Kiri, a collaboration with clay artist Paerau Corneal.