Mātauranga Māori Art, Design and Science: Exhibitions as Tools for Addressing Climate Change Impacts

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This session is held in the Art Gallery of Ontario, Gallery School (Room 020)


Led by Professor Huhana Smith


Huhana Smith (Ngāti Tukorehe, Ngāti Raukawa ki Te Tonga) is an artist and academic with wide-ranging experience in Māori customary and contemporary art and museum practice, exhibition planning and implementation (nationally and internationally), and working with indigenous knowledge, art, design and science research. She is Head of School of Art at Massey University, Wellington, and advocates for art and design as critical in active participatory, kaupapa Māori, multidisciplinary and collaborative research projects, particularly around major environmental and climate change issues.


This session is an opportunity for attendees to discuss Huhana Smith’s research in major environmental projects. Since 1995 she has been involved with her iwi and hapū in collaborative, multidisciplinary, kaupapa Māori and action-research projects, which investigate freshwater decline into the marine for Māori water/coastal lands and related biodiversity. More recently, her research addresses climate change concerns for the coastal Horowhenua to Kāpiti regions. Art and design’s visual systems are used to supplement mātauranga Māori methods and science. When combined in exhibitions as research techniques, they expand how solutions might integrate complex issues to make those solutions more accessible for local communities.