Ron Te Kawa

Maungarongo (Ron) Te Kawa of Ngāti Porou has been working prolifically in fashion, art, community and education across Aotearoa New Zealand for decades. Using sewing as a conduit to connect with people, he expertly guides workshop participants to confidently create with fabric and express their whakapapa (genealogy) through sewing.

His unique quilting style continually explores mātauranga Māori (Māori knowledge), his whakapapa and atua wāhine (female deities) through bold colour and a tactile application of materials. Breaking the rules of traditional quilt construction, all types of fabric are masterfully stitched together to illustrate scenes from his imagination, his history and the stories of the people influential to his life. His quilts burst with his infectious energy, a love of making and the utterly democratic way in which he approaches creating.

Ron Te Kawa has exhibited throughout Aotearoa New Zealand including a solo exhibitions in 2021 at Centre of Contemporary Art Toi Moroki and Objectspace, and in 2020 at Te Kōputu a te whanga a Toi, Whakatāne. He was awarded Best Futuristic Design at the 2006 Canterbury Fashion Awards, has been nominated for a Benson and Hedges Fashion award and in 2019 he was named the Adult Community and Education Aotearoa Māori Educator of the Year.

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