Born and raised in Ōtorohanga where she still lives and works, Hiria Anderson-Mita’s (Rereahu, Ngāti Maniapoto, Ngāti Apakura) practice focusses on the lives of the people in her community. Her richly layered paintings subtly draw attention to intertribal relationships and relationships between family members, as well as to the politics and environments that show the nuances and connections between Māori culture and twenty-first-century life.
Āmio is a selection of recent vignettes by the artist. They depict the every day with a palpable warmth and intimacy typical of her practice, further enhanced by their modest scale. When viewed collectively these gently observed scenes – a battered trophy, a view from an airport runway, a gathering at church – remind us that simple, often overlooked moments in time in fact make up the greatest parts of our lives. The exhibition title, Āmio, means to orbit, roam, or travel round. For Anderson-Mita it also refers to her personal experience living as a young adult in Merivale, Tauranga. She says; ‘Coming back home to Tauranga brings comfort and a feeling of coming full circle. The paintings in this exhibition are reflections of our lives travelled.’