A Joyful Meeting | Pounamu Wharekawa

'A Joyful Meeting'

“In making this piece, it was a priority with everyone involved (myself, WINTEC’s Āniwaniwa Alliance and the Centre Place team) to capture some of the humanity of the LGBTQIA+ community. Because of this, I decided to paint a group of people sharing in a moment of quiet joy – the kind of joy that I, as a queer person feel when surrounded by my mates.


While the outer figures all seem introspective with closed eyes, the central figure gazes out towards the viewer. I see this as an acknowledgement of the viewer, as well as an invitation to participate in the conversation being had and the hui being held.”

About the artist

Pounamu Wharekawa (Ngai te Rangi, they/themme/ia) is an indigenous baddie, fine artist, illustrator and muralist. They make art that speaks about intersections of identity through the lens of a queer, small town turned urban Māori living their best boring life in the big smoke of Kirikiriroa.


Pounamu’s art often straddles the line between the surreal and the mundane, seeing beauty in the everyday and balancing quiet moments of peaceful introspection with undertones of inherited outrage.


Pounamu is riding a wave of rediscovery and reclamation, reaping the benefits made through the work of those who came before them and striving to make the journey easier for those who come after.

With thanks to

This art piece was created with support from Resene, Waikato Institute of Technology, Tainui Group Holdings, Kiwi Property and Safe Space Alliance.

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