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Pūrākau / Myths and legends / Mitos y leyendas


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Trilingual Publication (English, Spanish and Te Reo Maori)
Posters from Aotearoa, Cuba & Mexico

Pūrākau = a Maori term referring to myths, legends and "lessons for life"

Poster = a print-based medium that uses visual devices to form opinion, persuade, provoke, unite and divide us.

In 2009 Xavier Meade (NZ) and Flor de Lis López Hernández (Cuba) invited twelve artists from Aotearoa, Cuba and Mexico to produce posters in response to the theme of ‘Pūrākau’.

The artists activated a diverse range of indigenous myths and legends: “The Tangler”, “the Disappearance of Matias Perez”, “Origin of the Poisonous Guao Plant” among others. The stories are deeply embedded in their cultures or origin, but the underlying themes resonate across cultures.
The craftsmanship of the posters is exquisite. The Cuban contributors come from a long-standing tradition of handcrafted screen-printing which has been maintained since the Cuban Revolution. All posters are made in their country of origin, through screen-print and lithographic processes.
Pūrākau follows in the footsteps of Xavier Meade’s highly successful “Aotearoa Liberators” project, a collaborative exhibition of posters that found an audience in New Zealand, Mexico and Cuba.


Pūrākau / Myths and Legends / Mitos y Leyendas is a publication accompanying the international poster project Pūrākau.

Curated by expatriate Mexican artist Xavier Meade together with Cuban curator Flor de Lis López Hernández, the project exchanges the shape of poet-colonial resistance in the form of indigenous myths and legends. Taking its cue from Cuban revolutionary design, the collected posters use bold graphic imagery to convey pūrākau, or ‘lessons for life’.

This touring exhibition brought together twelve leading artists from Cuba, Mexico and Aotearoa New Zealand to exchange indigenous myths and legends through poster design: Denis O'Connor, Natalie Robertson, Michael Reed, Claudio Sotolongo Menéndez, Giselle Monzón Calero, Michele Miyares Hollands, Eric Silva, Mario & Yesca, Arturo Meade and Carlos Pez.

The publication is presented in three languages – English, Māori and Spanish – and features writing by Jon Bywater, Danny Butt, Yani Monzón Calero, Ernesto Pérez Castillo, Claudio Sotolongo, Carlos Meade, Luis Delaç, Los Appo Stoles Irreverentes, the curators and many of the artists.

Item Type: Book
Additional Information: The Project has been exhibited in the following venues (from October 2010 to the present): Casa de Benemerito de las Americas Benito Juarez, Havana, Cuba. Instituto Superior de Diseno (ISDi), Havana, Cuba Casa de la Cultura de Tulum, Mexico Palacio de Comunicaciones de Valencia, Spain Museu Valencia de la Il-Lustracio i de la modernitat (MuVIM), Spain Te Tuhi Centre for the Arts, Auckland, New Zealand Waikato Museum, Hamilton, New Zealand CPIT, Christchurch, New Zealand
Uncontrolled Keywords: posters, myths, legends, Aotearoa, Cuba, Mexico
Subjects: N Fine Arts > NE Print media
Divisions: Schools > School of Media Arts
Depositing User: Xavier Meade
Date Deposited: 19 Oct 2011 20:31
Last Modified: 21 Jul 2023 02:36

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