Makatea Joint Exhibition

Sefton Rani & Marcus Hipa

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Welcome to “Makatea”, a captivating exhibition featuring the distinctive artistic expressions of Sefton Rani and Marcus Hipa.

The title, inspired by the geological wonder of elevated coral reefs surrounding Pacific Islands, holds personal significance for both artists, linking them to their ancestral connections with islands boasting these unique limestone formations.

Marcus Hipa, a Niuean artist, weaves a rich tapestry of creativity shaped by his upbringing in Alofi, Niue Island, and his academic journey at the Elam School of Fine Arts in Auckland, New Zealand.

Makatea limestone cliff

Through mediums such as drawing, painting, and carving, Marcus explores and shares profound insights into his people’s history and culture. His art serves as a celebration of values, traditions, progress, and community, shedding light on social and political issues affecting Pacific communities both in their home region and in Aotearoa.

Sefton Rani, a Cook Island artist, embarks on unchartered territories with his innovative use of dried paint skin material and industrial detritus. Discovered while working in a paint factory, this unique material forms the basis of his “urban tapa” artworks.

Sefton’s abstract compositions serve as a commentary on a spectrum of issues spanning the past, present, and potential future trajectories. His works touch on themes such as migrant labour, black birding, cultural identity removal, and the aftermath of natural disasters like cyclone Gabrielle.

Critics and art enthusiasts alike have been captivated by the distinctive approaches of Sefton and Marcus. Described as “eclectic”, “punk”, and “visceral”, their work has been lauded for its technical brilliance and unapologetic narrative.

Noteworthy art critic Andrew Paul Wood hails their work as “magnificent”, while Charles Darwin recognises its complexity and subtlety.

Sefton and Marcus’ global vision and narrative expand the definition of Pacific art, making it relevant to a broad audience and contributing to the evolving Pacific footprint on the global stage.

Join us on a visual journey that transcends boundaries and redefines the essence of Pacific art. “Makatea” is not just an exhibition; it is an exploration of heritage, identity and the ever-evolving narratives that shape our collective consciousness.

Sharon O’Brien BA (Hons) MFA
Director, Wharf Gallery Raglan