A visit with Rawiri

A visit with Rawiri

We don't play favourites, but we sometimes get to know customers on a personal level and that brings us great joy. Rawiri Te Hurinui-Haumaha (Te Arawa, Ngāi Tuhoe, Ngāti Raukawa) is one of those customers. Rawiri invited us into his home to take a look at his art collection, many pieces of which he has purchased at The Poi Room.

Cover image: Rawiri Te Hurinui-Haumaha and Nātanahira Harding at home

Rawiri with TURAPA - TE TAIMANA O TE KOOTI by James Schuster

Above, Rawiri wears and holds pieces by Alex Sands while displaying a piece by Jim Schuster purchased during our Matariki exhibition.

How long have you been an art collector?
About three years or so, I've bought a lot in that time. Lee-Anne (Newmarket Gallery Manager) knows my taste and makes contact when something comes in that she knows I'll like.

Left, Rawiri Te Hurinui-Haumaha; right, Hue by Sonny Hape
Do you plan what you'll buy?
Not really. I tend to have a physical and emotional reaction to artwork. Last week I went into get Pounamu earrings for my flatmate then I saw a panel by Ra Gossage above the doorway. It was in colours I like so it came home with me.
Kahurangi Roa (right) by Ra Gossage.

Left: Eclectic finds and vintage pieces feature amongst the works Rawiri has purchased at The Poi Room; Right: Rawiri purchased Kahurangi Roa by Ra Gossage on a whim.

With the wall hanging by Jim Schuster I was walking past while Lee-Anne and Melanie-Jane were preparing to hang the exhibition. I said "How much is that?", and Lee-Anne said "I haven't even hung it up yet". I said "I didn't ask that". I bought it before the exhibition even started. 

Above, Clockwise from top left: Luxury Throw by The Poi Room; Jumbo Glo Hearts by Simon Lewis Wards; Rawiri's eclectic collection includes found objects, drawings from friends and vintage finds; Coasters and Placemats by Jill Butler.
Is there anything you have your eye on at the moment?
I covet all of it. But I'm more likely to just go into the space and then have a moment with something and decide I want to have it.

Rawiri at home and with his Penny Stotter print

Above, left: Rawiri relaxing at home wearing an Alex Sands piece; Right: With Big Heart (Gold) by Penny Stotter.
What was the first piece you bought at The Poi Room?
I think it would have been one of the paintings or one of the Pounamu pieces. I've bought lots of Taonga like the one I'm wearing and also earrings. I have Pounamu and whalebone earrings.

Above, Clockwise from top left: A piece by Leonie Sharp sits amongst other treasures on Rawiri's bedroom wall; Inspiration is everywhere; Rangatira Hei Kahu Kereru and Rangatira Hei Kahu Huruhuru by Regal Enterprises perch above a selection of books. The Piupiu belonged to Rawiri's Nan and is 45 years old; The couple love houseplants and colourful memorabilia.

Wheku Tahi by Messini Palace on the walls

Above, Wheku Tahi by Messini Palace guard the living room.
One day Rawiri was wandering past The Poi Room in Ponsonby and saw two sets of Raupo Poi - he bought them both. 
Poi hang below a framed picture of Ella Fitzgerald.
Above, left: Long Raupō Poi by Stacey Moana Smith hang below a framed photo of Ella Fitzgerald; Rawiri and partner Nātanahira (Te Atiawa (Te Whanganui-a-tara), Ngāpuhi) at home, Coasters by Jill Butler in the foreground.
 We loved being welcomed to visit Rawiri and Nātanahira, thank you so much for sharing your home with us!
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