Aimee Ratana (Ngāi Tūhoe) has used blankets, over recent years, as a medium to explore the legacy of historical injustices inflicted on Ngāi Tūhoe by the Crown through legislation.
She is however, optimistic about the future and the possibility of a better relationship between the Crown and the Tūhoe people after the very recent signing of the Deed of Settlement in June 2013. In her most recent work, birds such as Kōkako, Tui, and Kererū represent Ngā Tamariki o Tane-nui-a-rangi, - children of Tane-nui-a rangi, god of forests and birds - and symbolise both the present and the future:
“While we look forward to the growth of our iwi, we remember our tūpuna (ancestors) and the hardships they endured. [The ancestors] are represented by the Huia, the prestigious bird that once flourished in the Huiarau ranges within Te Urewera.”
Aimee Ratana completed a Masters in Māori Visual Arts at Massey University, Palmerston North in 2006. She was a recipient of the Te Waka Toi tertiary scholarship in 2004 and a finalist in the 2005 Trust Waikato Contemporary Art Awards and has exhibited nationally and internationally.