Internationally Acclaimed Maori Ta Moko Tattoo Artist Te Rangitu Netana Comes to London

Te Rangitu Netana, one of a handful of Traditional Tattoo (Ta Moko) artists from New Zealand working in Europe, has been living and working near the Essex town of Colchester in the UK for the last three years. Having mastered the art of Maori tattooing with the machine from a young age, he has also been a practitioner of Maori Ta Moko with the traditional tools for the last 15 years.

The internationally recognised artist Te Rangitu will be giving a talk, and participating in a discussion panel at the Royal Academy of Art in London on Saturday 20th October, as part of the Oceania exhibition , where he will be discussing Ta Moko culture, issues surrounding the preservation and appropriation of the artform as well as his experience as a Ta Moko artist.

Te Rangitu’s early career was spent travelling and showcasing his culture and artform in Europe and around the world, tattooing an impressive list of clientele. After his apprenticeship using traditional hand tools began in Hawaii in 2003, he returned home to Aotearoa New Zealand and spent 12 years bringing up his family in the Far North of New Zealand, practicing his artform amongst his own people, and bringing back the use traditional tools in Te Tai Tokerau (the far north of NZ), as well as mentoring and teaching youth amongst his own tribes. He observed that the renaissance of Maori tattooing in his own tribal area and further afield over time became deeply affected by the worldwide misuse of patterns and particularly the mixing of many different Polynesian styles together (by artists with no lineage to those cultures), widely shown over the internet. Therefore the stories and patterns that he and several other tattooists were trying to preserve (and evolve) at home in their authentic form, were being eroded.

What: Tattoo: Past and Present, A full day of discussion, artist talks and a film screening delving into the world of indigenous and contemporary global tattoo culture.

Where: The Benjamin West Lecture Theatre, Burlington Gardens, Royal Academy of Arts, Piccadilly, Mayfair, London W1J 0BD

When: October the 20th 2018, Cultural Imprints panel discussion: 11.30am–12.45pm. Part of the wider Oceania exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts

Tickets are available from the RA website link:

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