Renee Cosgrave & Dorothy Nilson 
31 March - 17 April 2022
Blak Dot Gallery

with events
Sunday 10 April  - Welcome to Country, haangii and opening event
Sunday 17 April - Raranga (Weaving) afternoon with Renee Cosgrave

Whanaunga was an exhibition of new paintings by Renee Cosgrave with works by her Whaea (Aunty) Dorothy Nilson. Whanaunga means relative in te reo Maaori. Renee's oil paintings were made over the last few years and during this time Renee has been connecting to culture. These works speak to concepts of whakapapa (genealogy), whenua (land), te reo Maaori (language) and raaranga (weaving). Renee's oil paintings are abstract and explore colour and repetition. The colour in Renee's works tend to reference colours in land and waters, becoming dedicated to sites or an elder. These works are simple in their construction and they are enjoyable for the artist to make, usually constructed from left to right, like reading a book or like the way weavings are constructed. Tension, rhythm and being relaxed are important when Renee makes these works.

Renee shared the exhibition space with her aunty as this show was very much about whaanau (family). Renee was attracted to Abstract, a sombre, small and very dark painting of flowers, hiding in her whaea's home. Both Renee and Whaea Dorothy use art making as a tool for healing and growth. Whaea Dorothy and Renee are from the Ngaati Tuuwharetoa iwi (tribe).  Whaea Dorothy lives in Taamaki Makaurau (Auckland), Aotearoa.

Renee invited Maaori community groups who have helped her on her journey to use the gallery space for learning on weekends.

Sat 2 - Sun 3 April
Te Reo O Te Wahine - Karanga class

Sat 9 - Sun 10 April
Te Rau Aroha O Te Reo & Te Anga Whakamua - online Maaori language class

Blak Dot Gallery
33 Saxon Street, Brunswick, Victoria, 3056, Australia


Ngaa mihi ki a Whaea Dorothy Nilson, Whaea Heather Autagavaia, Cadence Manuhira Autagavaia, Uncle Tim Nilson, Christo Crocker, Tama Sharman, Whaea Marie Whareaitu, Dougy Petley, Maatua Henry Kokiri, Te Reo O Te Wahine roopuu, Te Rau Aroha O Te Reo roopuu, Te Anga Whakamua roopuu, Te Ara Hononga, Hetet School of Maaori Art, Kimba Thompson, Samara Autagavaia, Helena Hapeta and Wild Life Bakery.

Photography by Christo Crocker