Mandy Cherry Joass graduated from the University of Canterbury with a BFA in sculpture in 2015.
She is using raranga (weaving) as a metaphor to explore themes relating to postcolonial identity. East coast elder Apirana Ngata explained Whakapapa as ‘the process of laying one thing upon another’. The oppositional direction of warp and weft combine individual strands to create a fabric, larger and stronger than the separate elements. Joass is expanding on traditional Māori imagery, techniques and materials which, when woven together, form the fabric of a bicultural society. She is a descendant of the first European settlers to arrive in New Zealand and also of Ngapuhi
Whakapapa, and she expresses her biculturalism through her work. Joass explains that the contrasts and tensions created by using disparate materials represents the complex interweaving of cultures. Following in the footsteps of her Kuia, Cherry Joass and great Kuia Cecily Ruby Mcmanus, Joass seeks to preserve and perpetuate all things Matarangi Māori in an inclusive and light hearted way.