“When I visit the homes of my whānau and friends, the first thing I do is look at the artworks on their walls. Among many things, I wonder why they chose that particular work. I am interested to know what piece of art Justin Paton, Dame Anne Salmond, Matariki Williams and Witi Ihimaera would take with them from their homes into the afterlife; it makes me wonder what piece I would take with me.” Miriama Grace-Smith
We think this quote exemplifies Miriama’s connection with art and her Maori heritage. A beautiful message about family, curiosity, art and spirituality! What a treasure she is to the contemporary art scene here in Aotearoa. We wish we could bundle up everything she produces and provide it to you, it is expressive, vibrant and deeply meaningful, all of the qualities we value and love to bring to you. So it was an eye popping moment when we saw Paul Ballentyne (creator and head designer of Moana Rd) and Miriama were collaborating on a small suite of products. Needless to say we have snapped them all up*.
Miriama Grace-Smith is a full-time artist, based in Wellington and is a recognisable Maori actress featuring in contemporary locally produced films and tv shows. This wahine is a multi talented creative who explores many areas within the world of creative arts. She is a curator, muralist, illustrator, fashion designer, film costume artist and art director! She is also a member of Māori women’s art collective Hine Pae Kura and has her own street wear label Foresight Clothing. Miriama’s art style showcases her considerable talent for simplifying forms and colour in a way that ensures both their essence is retained and their iconography is amplified.
As a proud Wellingtonian artist she has taken part in many of their local festivals and art events. The thriving creative scene there is one that Miriama is immersed in. “My favourite things to do in Wellington city are checking out the street art, exhibitions, events, live music, food and places to have a drink and dance with my friends. I also enjoy shopping at the boutique stores on Cuba Street, and taking my little dog Putiputi for walks on the awesome tracks Wellington has to offer.”
Her collaboration with Moana Rd is another reflection of her appreciation for local creatives like Paul Ballentyne. We couldn't think of a better pair of collaborators, an exciting and contemporary Maori artist with a flair for graphic designs, and a forward thinking, market savvy product designer like Paul.
We anticipate this successful collaboration will flourish and Miriama’s collection will grow over the coming years. We are thrilled to be a part of it now, at the very beginning.