Ron Te Kawa Embroiders and Connects
Textile artist and former fashion designer Maungarongo Te Kawa (known to many as Ron) interprets his name as ‘one who brings peace and tranquillity to the land’. Te Kawa’s chosen artform is the quilt, which he values for its symbolism as an item that can enfold, hug and protect – and in doing so can bring that sense of peace and tranquillity that he is so happily named for, Liz Cooper writes in a profile of the artist for British magazine, Embroidery.
Te Kawa’s early training in theatrical costume and his long career in fashion has given him an overwhelming love for colour and texture, and also for the physical sensation of cloth. “Most textile people have a sense of touch that they’re hungry for,” Te Kawa remarks.
His subject matter is people and spirits – strong, real people and their connection to Māori gods and personifications of aspects of nature, Cooper writes.
Te Kawa (Ngāti Porou), who lives in Woodville, is currently exhibiting in Norway at the Sami Center for Contemporary Art in Karasjok, in a show of works from the past three years, entitled Hineteiwaiwa. The exhibition is on until 21 January 2024.
Original article by Liz Cooper, Embroidery, September/October 2023.