Robyn Kahukiwa’s artwork many themes, many of which include Maori identity, Birth and death, and a reoccuring theme, Feminism. Specifically in Hinetitama. A quick google search defines Feminism as “The advocacy of women’s rights on the ground of the equality of the sexes”. Gender inequality is currently a sensitive issue in today’s society and it has repeatedly been explored through Kahukiwa’s art.
The resources all analyse the artwork (Hinetitama) and discuss what aspects of her art has explored Feminism. Robyn Kahukiwa, born 1940, is a Sydney, Australian born Maori artist and award winning children’s book writer and illustrator who created many paintings depicting the hardships that faced maori society through history and today. From her mother’s side, she is Maori, this has heavily influenced her artwork inwhich she addresses social issues facing Maori society. Art has always been a major activity Kahukiwa enjoyed throughout her life and has always seized the opportunity to express how she sees the world through her art. Her major jump into contemporary Maori art was triggered by her migration to New Zealand, at the age of 19, after her Mother had died in which she rediscovered her lineage.
During the period between 1960 and 1970, Kahukiwa was a young mother living in a state home in Wellington, this is where and when she began experimenting with art depicting ghettoisation, detribalisation, disempowerment and a psychic sense of loss.. She primarily focused on Maoris which were young mothers, factory workers, gang members, who would battle with their social and economical status. Which resulted in the cultural displacement she began portraying in her art. The period between 1972 to 1980, Kahukiwa became a regular exhibitor at the academy of fine arts in Wellington. “Kahukiwa is one of Ng?ti Porou, Te Aitanga-a-Hauiti, Ng?ti Hau, Ng?ti Konohi and Wh?nau-a-Ruataupare descent”(Grace)1984 .
“Having no formal training, kahukiwa was mostly self taught” (Mane-Wheoki, 2014). Maori mythology all goes back to their story of creation , from the