Aotearoa: Our Music
Towards the end of 2014 I was invited by the talented Rebekah Taylor (Rise Creative) to work on the designs for Aotearoa: The very best of our music, a three disc compilation of Māori music put together by SONY.
The artwork draws inspiration from the title, Aotearoa, and the compilations obvious connection to Te Ao Māori (the Maori world) and Maori music. The use of the rolling spiral pattern, pākura, which is often found on traditional instruments including the nguru and kōauau, gives the design whakapapa (connection) to Maori musical practice. At the same time the angular geometric patterns are a reference to rauponga, a pattern used throughout Māori carving. Importantly, rauponga expresses the notion of whakapapa, and interconnectedness. And in many ways, this compilation represents to some extent the whakapapa of Māori musical practice. The colour combination, red, black and white and brown are also synonymous with Māori art practice.
A reference to the title, Aotearoa (Land of the Long White Cloud), is obvious in the use of the cloud forms which connect the many parts of the design. While imagery of New Zealand plants, the harakeke flax and cabbage tree, and the tui, symbolise our connection and attachment with the whenua (land). Another connection to New Zealand can be seen in the typeface, whakarare, the first Māori typeface created for Maori by Māori.