Tātai Whakapapa - The Dance of Water and Rock is a profound and deeply meaningful ARTifact that pays homage to the life story of a Kaumatua, a revered Maori elder. This portrait is the result of a unique collaboration between Magno Barros, founder of SO50 , Rauawaawa Kaumatua Charitable Trust and the power of AI, where the kaumatua's narrative was skilfully transformed into a visual representation of her journey.
Tātai Whakapapa - The Dance of Water and Rock
At the heart of the composition stands Tauhara, the Kaumatua woman, a figure of wisdom and strength. Her presence embodies the resilience and cultural heritage of the Maori people. The artist, Magno Barros, listened attentively to her life story, capturing the essence of her upbringing and the profound influence of her parents.
The rock, solid and unwavering, represents the woman's father. He is depicted as a symbol of religious devotion and stability. The rock signifies his unwavering faith and the foundation upon which the Kaumatua woman's character was built. It represents the values and traditions passed down through generations, anchoring her to her ancestral roots.
In contrast, the water embodies the spirit of the woman's mother. It symbolizes her mother's nurturing and fluid nature, as well as her deep understanding of the healing properties of water. The water represents the lessons of love, compassion, and adaptability that her mother imparted to her. It flows gracefully, mirroring the woman's mother's joyful and nurturing presence.
He wahine o te whenua whakapapa, o ngā tikanga, o te ora. Ngā āhuatanga o ōna koa i te wai, ngā whakapapa o ōna kaha i te kōhatu. Kua raukaha i a ia, i tōna whānau, i ōna iwi. I te ao hurihuri, ka whakatipuria ngā uara, ngā taonga, ngā kōrero...
The dance between water and rock in the portrait signifies the harmonious clash of differences, where two contrasting elements come together in mutual respect and understanding. It represents the perfect environment for a happy childhood, where the woman's parents' distinct qualities complemented each other, shaping her into the person she has become.
Tātai Whakapapa - The Dance of Water and Rock, honours the rich cultural heritage of the Kaumatua and the Maori people. This work serves as a visual testament to the power of storytelling and the transformative nature of art, capturing the essence of a life lived with purpose and connection to one's roots.
Tauhara's story is a reminder that, like the striking portrait capturing her essence, life's beauty lies in the interplay of opposing elements, in the balance between tradition and change, and in the enduring strength of love and commitment.
Tauhara is a fictional character whose story draws inspiration from the life experiences of a Kaumatua affiliated with the Rauawaawa Kaumatua Charitable Trust in Hamilton, New Zealand. Magno Barros was invited by RKCT to collaborate with groups of Maori elders (Kaumatua), introducing them to AI technology and capturing their ageing stories into ART-tifacts, which were created based on their narratives.
This captivating image and story are the fruits of the innovative SO50 workshop, which empowers older adults to embrace AI - Artificial Intelligence technology and intertwine it with real-life tales. It's a testament to the power of learning and new experiences as we age, a mission championed by SO50. Magno Barros led this transformative initiative, showcasing the incredible potential of lifelong learning.
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