Hope and Joy

In the hands of illustrator Huriana Kopeke-Te Aho, complex political ideas become easily understood.

Hope and Joy

In the hands of illustrator Huriana Kopeke-Te Aho, complex political ideas become easily understood.

Tell us what you do and why you do it in 50 words or less.

I’m an illustrator trying to represent the diverse communities I come from. I think it’s important for us to see ourselves reflected in art and media, and be the ones to do that.


How did you come to illustration?

Mostly, because it’s more accessible than other art practices. You don’t need equipment like cameras, or paint and brushes. There’s a long history of illustration in protest movements based on its ability to communicate complex ideas in a clear and concise way. As someone who started their career as a political artist, primarily, I needed to make work that was aesthetically pleasing as well as easy to understand.


How does Te Ao Māori influence your work?

I walk through the world first and foremost as Māori, and that part of my whakapapa has always been prioritised and celebrated so it makes sense to me to incorporate that into my practice. Māori imagery is what speaks to me the most, as someone who was raised in a way that was deeply entrenched in Te Ao Māori and the knowledge of my tūpuna.


How does your mahi engage people in political discussion?

I’ve tried as much as possible to create work that is easy to engage with. I’ve also always tried to create work that focuses on the hope and resistance of marginalised people, rather than the injustices we face on a daily basis.


What does a dream commission look like for you?

I’d love to create more takatāpui work. I’ve had the privilege to be able to work on several mainstream LGBTQI+ projects, but creating space and work for takatāpui people specifically, to see us represented in a way that is mana enhancing is really important to me. 

Tags:

Print EditionBuy Now

Related Stories:

0