Māori Television commissioned Ink to refresh its brand leading up to its 10th birthday. Spending extensive time with the Māori Television team and their extended family of talented artists made this project an enjoyable and rewarding experience for everyone involved.
Taking the format of interviews the channel idents showcase Māori Televisions greatest asset, its people. The lineup included a selection of on-air personalities and staff, family and friends. 8 spots were created around key questions that reflect the values of Māori television. The context of the strong graphic backgrounds give the brand an overall cohesion.
Ink was asked to refresh Māori Television’s sister channel Te Reo which is a 100 per cent Māori language programming. The channel offers the latest news and views, chat shows and infotainment as well as sport and children’s shows
Working again with artist Lyonel Grant and we created a hero sculptural element, an anchor stone inscribed with Māori Television’s mission statement. À, ui mai ki a au, he aha te mea nui o te ao? Māku e kī atu. He tangata, he tangata, he tangata.
The anchor stone along with a set of patterns originally created by Lyonel Grant make up the channels toolkit.
The Punga or Anchor Stone has been adopted as the metaphoric anchor to the Maori culture and Te Reo language. This extended to word or concept of wai could then be substituted for ‘Nga Kupu’, from language (the anchor) stems the well being of the culture Ka haramai te reo Rangatira: Ka ora ai te tangata i roto i te Ao hurihuri nei na. ….and with the vitality of the language, comes the well being of the people in this ever changing world.
In this execution the punga form is translated in the pounamu stone, a precious hard wearing material deeply connected to Maori Culture. Pounamu plays a very important role in Māori culture. It is considered a taonga (treasure). Pounamu taonga increase in mana (prestige) as they pass from one generation to another. The most prized taonga are those with known histories going back many generations. These are believed to have their own mana and were often given as gifts to seal important agreements.
Lyonel Grant is a graduate of the Māori Arts and Crafts Institute in Rotorua, a school set up in 1966
to promote the arts of the marae and wharenui. Grant has since practised as a customary carver –
his career notably including the carving of two wharenui: Te Matapihi o te Rangi (1985 – 1987)
in Tokoroa, and Ihenga (1993 – 1996) in Rotorua.
However, Grant’s knowledge and expertise is not limited to carving – as he explains in his own words:
“I believe that the general perception is that I am a carver. This has a lot to do with my training and other high-profile works that I have been commissioned to produce. But I would like to think that I am more than just a carver – a sculptor, perhaps, who can make an easy transition between classical and contemporary modes of art expression.”
Grant works outside the marae and wharenui, and continues to be tested by the limits and constraints of those spaces. His gift to customary culture is the demonstration that artistic change and development is as much a condition of customary contexts (the pae) as stasis, and that change doesn’t necessarily involve a loss of meaning.