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Aotearoa Liberators and Púrákau


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Posters designed in Aotearoa printed in Cuba
This poster collection is the creative response by artist amig@s from Aotearoa to the invitation to design a poster and write a text about a liberator/activist from these islands whose work resonates personally with them.
The designs were printed in the legendary screenprint shop of the ICAIC in Havana, Cuba. The ICAIC printers who have produced seminal posters vital to the Cuban Revolution, and cinema and education since 1959. They use only manual techniques.
The result is a series of 12 posters and texts by:
Jon Bywater, Simon Cuming, Nicola Farquhar, Dion Hitchens, Tessa Laird, Katerina Mataira, Xavier Meade, Te Rita Papesch, Warren Olds, James Ormsby, Jenny Rhodes, Josh Watene & Leafa Wilson.

Posters from Aotearoa, Cuba & Mexico

Purakau = 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 Prof Flor de Lis López Hernández (Cuba) invited twelve artists from Aotearoa, Cuba and Mexico to produce posters in response to the theme of ‘Purakau’.
The artists activated a diverse range of indigenous myths and legends: “The Tangler”, “the Disappearance of Matias Perez”, “Origin of the Poisonous Guao Plant”, and 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.
Purakau follows in the footsteps of Xavier’s highly successful “Aotearoa Liberators” project, an exhibition of posters that found an audience in New Zealand, Mexico and Cuba.

Xavier Meade. Purakau project leader. Xavier is an artist and eco-design researcher, lecturing at Wintec’s School of Media Arts.
Natalie Robertson. (Ngati Porou). Photomedia artist and Co-ordinator of Maori Art and Design at AUT. ( )
Michael Reed. Fine art print-maker and senior lecturer at Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology. ).
Denis O’Connor. One of New Zealand’s foremost sculptors, O’Connor is represented in public and private collections throughout the country.

Claudio Sotolongo Menéndez. Academic member at ISDI (Instituto Superior de Diseño Industrial) with a long career of poster design.
Giselle Monzón Calero. Bachelor of Graphic Design and Visual Communication, ISDI, Habana. Golden Diploma for best student of her generation. Holds an Academic position at ISDI.
Michele Miyares Hollands. Art Director of the cultural magazine “La Gaceta de Cuba”. Designed many posters for cimema and cultural events.
Eric Silva. Illustrator and designer of the magazine “El Cuentero”, active collaborator in poster and illustration exhibitions. Recipient of the “Prográfica” award to the best young designer.

Mario & Yesca. Key members of ASARO (Assembly of Revolutionary Artists of Oaxaca) - a collective of printmakers, painters, stencil and graphic artists. ASARO searches for the creation of images that synthetise the critical force that emerges from the periphery, from the neighbourhoods, the towns and the youth. ( )
Arturo Meade. Independent artist based San Miguel Allende. (
Carlos Pez. Founder member of the printing workshop ‘Perro Bravo”
The following writers have contributed essays and stories for the exhibition and catalogue:

Flor de Lis López Hernández. Flor is the curator of the Cuban contribution. She is based at ISDI, Cuban Design Institute, Havana and is a leading researcher in the history of the Cuban poster.
Jon Bywater. Critical studies lecturer at University of Auckland.
Danny Butt. Lecturer at University of Auckland
Carlos Meade. Independent writer & academic based in Mexico.
Luiz Delaç. Independent writer & academic based in en Valencia, España.

Publisher: Clouds

Item Type: Contribution to a Show/Exhibition
Subjects: N Fine Arts > NE Print media
Divisions: Schools > School of Media Arts
Depositing User: Xavier Meade
Date Deposited: 24 Apr 2015 04:19
Last Modified: 21 Jul 2023 03:30

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