Ngāti Apakura, Ngāti Maniapoto, Nga Puhi, Ngāti Pakeha
Messini is a self-taught artist currently working from her studio in central Auckland. Messini's journey with her cast art is deeply intertwined with her own whakapapa. Growing up in central Auckland in the 80s, she experienced the rich Pasifika & Māori communities but knew little of her own family history. After spending 20 years abroad, Messini arrived back in Aotearoa in 2017 & embarked on a journey of whakapapa discovery, meeting & uniting with Ngāti Apakura iwi members, & most recently witnessing the return of a small pocket of significant ancestral land. It is no mistake to Messini that 'coming home' has resulted in creating art that expresses who she is a connection between her Māori & Pakeha lineage.
Messini's cast wheku, carved faces that represent important Tīpuna or kaitiaki, are about a merging of traditional Toi Māori (whakairo rakau/wood carving) with contemporary mediums such as resin & cast stone, together with an engaging colour pallet. For Messini this contemporary, urban angle on the traditional makes her work accessible for all to enjoy.
She casts off vintage carvings as well as one recently commissioned by Master Carver Michael Matchitt (Wheku Tahi) & carves her own smaller pieces, creating a new journey.