Kia Oho Ra Te Marino: The Calm Awakened

Kia Oho Ra Te Marino: The Calm Awakened

An exhibition by Regan Balzer

Local artist Regan Balzer (Te Arawa, Ngāti Ranginui) is showcasing a range of her beautiful artworks in this special exhibition on at Rotorua Lakes Council Galleria.

Kia Oho Ra Te Marino: The Calm Awakened will be on display from 18 February until 15 May 2020. 

The exhibition name comes from the song entitled ‘Tera te Auahi’, a lament for those who passed away in the Tarawera eruption.  However, in this instance, the title also makes reference to the colourful nature of the artworks that give a new vibrancy and perspective to important historical narratives depicted in the imagery.  ‘Awakening’ the stories that are embedded in the land and with the people, this exhibition is sure to stimulate the mind, the senses and the soul. 

From an early age, Regan was surrounded by the sulphuric landscape of her hometown Rotorua.  In this thermal wonderland vivid contrasting colours are everywhere, caused by natural minerals, water and earth. These views form the palette of colours within which Regan likes to develop her paintings. The hues of a homeland intertwine throughout Regan’s work, juxtaposed with contemporary imagery. Regan’s process of applying both detailed and expressive layers of paint creates elements that of painted illusion where parts protrude and recede in a visual symphony of colour and form.

With an interest in celebrating and highlighting a positive perspective of being Māori, Regan utilises forms derived from customary Māori arts practices, such as Māori woodcarving and weaving to celebrate aspects of her culture. 

With the aim to refine her practice, Regan achieved a master’s in Māori Visual Arts (Hons) after a degree in teaching.  Regan Balzer has an extensive exhibition history, throughout New Zealand and overseas.  As the co-director of a successful contemporary arts company Regan has been involved in many multidisciplinary arts events, curating exhibitions and supporting the development of up and coming artists. 

 Kia Oho Ra Te Marino is on display at the Rotorua Lakes Council Galleria (1061 Haupapa Street) from 18 February until 15 May 2020. The Galleria is open Monday – Friday from 8am until 5pm.