Rachael Rakena
Friday, September 5, 1969
Home phone: 
027 4863224
Mobile phone: 
+64 27 4863224


Member for
2 years 10 months
Ngāti Māmoe
Ngāi Tahu
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Street address: 
280F Albert Street, Hokowhitu, Palmerston North
400-word bio: 
Rachael Rakena is video artist who works, frequently in collaboration with others, to create richly-layered performative installations, videos and photographs. Of Māori and Pākehā descent (Ngāi Tahu, Ngā Puhi) Rachael has a Master of Fine Arts (Distinction) and is a Senior Lecturer at Massey University, where she is currently Programme Leader in Toioho ki Āpiti Māori Visual Art programmes. Having coined the term 'Toi Rerehiko' to centre, claim and name digital space within a Māori paradigm, her research describes and locates Māori digital/electronic-based art practice in terms of continuum, motion, and collaboration. Critiquing notions of fluid identity, local to global, Pacific understandings of space and water have been interrogated through metaphors of digital space as water space, inhabited by iwi Māori. This research has evolved to enculturate and politicize water itself, navigating issues of ongoing Pacific migration, flooding and rising sea levels. It uses water as an amniotic medium to play out ideas of ‘otherness’, alienation, cultural loss, colonisation, immersion, through narratives of creation, desire, consumption and ownership. Known for her collaborative practice she has collaborated with and included creative contributions from many artists including sculptor Brett Graham, Māori songstress Whirimako Black, opera soprano Deborah Wai Kapohe, Māori musical instrument expert Richard Nunns, electronic musician/sound engineer Paddy Free, dancer/choreographers Louise Potiki Bryant, Merenia Gray and Fez Fa’anana, performance artists Brian Fuata, Latai Taumoepeau, and culture group Te Whānau o Kāi Tahu ki Araiteuru. She has an international exhibiting practice and her artwork has featured in major survey and retrospective exhibitions of New Zealand art, and international exhibitions abroad including Sakahàn: International Indigenous Art, National Gallery of Canada; Haka Peepshow, The Octagon, Dunedin; Oceania, City Gallery Wellington; FEEDFORWARD: The Angel of History/El angel de la Historia, LABoral Centre for Art and Industrial Creation, Gijon, Spain; Aniwaniwa, 52nd Biennale di Venezia, Venice; World Histories, Des Moines Art Center, Iowa; Voyage without Boundaries, Busan Biennale, South Korea; Pacific Styles, University of Cambridge Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, UK; Mo Tatou, Te Papa Tongarewa Museum of New Zealand; Dateline: Contemporary Art from the Pacific, Neuer Berliner Kunstverein, Berlin; Telecom Prospect 2007: New Art NZ, Wellington; Zones of Contact, Biennale of Sydney; HIGH TIDE: currents in contemporary Australasian art, Zacheta National Gallery of Art, Warsaw, and Contemporary Art Centre, Vilnius, Lithuania; Container Culture, 01SJ Biennale, San Jose Museum of Art, California
Creative Practice Types: 
["Multimedia","Photography","Video","Digital Image","Artist"]