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Cherry Peeti-Tapurau

Cherry Peet-Tapurau is an experiencesd artist in many genres but has come to this gallery as a carver and painter. Cherry carves NZ pounamu, native woods of NZ as well as in sandstone producing works at corporate level. See her bio and her amazing story as a cancer survivor.


Cherry Peeti-Tapurau
Cherry Peeti-Tapurau - Artist

Cherry Peeti-Tapurau

Cherry Te Peeti Hoera Rangi Whakaewa-Tapurau is of Ngai Tahu, Ngati Tuwharetoa, Rangitane and Nagti Kahungunu descent.

 

Cherry has been creating artworks for over 30 years in various mediums ranging from chalk pastel drawing to canvas oil paintings, through to glass, tile, copper, wood, mortar, up-cycling down-cycling, basically anything she could lay her hands on, was a potential piece of art in her eyes.

 

In 2003 Cherry was diagnosed with breast cancer. During the time she was receiving chemotherapy and radiation, Cherry was asked to hold an exhibition to tell her story through the medium of art, about her journey. She created over 20 large interior and exterior paintings and sculptures for the major outdoor exhibition which was held at Windrest Cottage, Te Puke entitled "My journey through Breast Cancer". All her paintings sold, and a percentage of the proceeds went to help pay for breast screening.

 

In 2005 Cherry decided to open her first gallery "The Little Tiki Gallery" outside of Te Puke in the Bay of Plenty.

 

With a major battle behind her, Cherry had always wanted to carve pounamu.

In 2009 Cherry was lucky enough to do a three day wananga (work shop) learning how to fashion a whoe (chisel) by hand, with a very well-known Tuhoe pounamu carver Te Kaha.

 

In the three days Cherry asked Te Kaha what type of machinery she would need to cut and carve the stone, Te Kaha invited Cherry to his work shop two weeks later and that’s pretty much how it started.

Te Kaha and his whanua took Cherry under their wing and taught her the language of pounamu.

 

In the eight years Cherry has been carving pounamu she has had the opportunity to supply a London retailer for a year, exhibit her work at Auckland Museum, and in the past eight years Cherry has been supplying The Poi Room and Kura Gallery Auckland. Cherry is now holding her own wanaga. 

 

In 2013 Cherry found a lump and was again diagnosed with breast cancer, but this time it was less aggressive only needing radiation, Cherry carved as much as she could through her treatment as it gave her a positive focus.

 

Through all her treatments, and whilst carving and working in her gallery, she was tested for the BRCA Gen. It came back positive, so she realized she needed to make some big decisions. She made them and Cherry has never looked back.

 

In 2014 Cherry and her husband, Wae Tapurau, moved to Dannevirke so they could spend more time with whanau.

After the tragic loss of Cherry's beautiful Mum in May 2016 Cherry decided to open another gallery in honour of her mum. Thus, Tiki 2 Gallerywas born in October 2016. 

 

Mo ake ake tonu atu toki arohanui mou e mama.

 

“I thank the Art for getting me through breast cancer and I thank pounamu for keeping me strong. I feel blessed to still be here and be able to keep creating and learning, but mostly I thank my beautiful Mum for giving me the strength to be me.

 

I evolve and create pounamu taonga in the manner of tikanga and kawa. I embrace the teaching of my Kai ako (teacher) which has enabled me to have a direct link to the atua and my tipuna.

 

As a Maori wahine I believe we need to be strong in all aspects of our lives. I feel blessed to be able to share my work and pass on the aroha that I feel when creating a precious taonga.

I embrace the never-ending knowledge of my tipuna and be their forever humble student.”

 

"Ahakoe he iti he pounamu"

 

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