Tā Moko Practitioner, Cultural Artist, Writer, Painter
Tattoo Styles: Ta Moko, Ta Tatau, Fineline, Custom Māori, Body Suits, Ornamental, Mauri Moko
“Moko to me is a process of connecting each of us through its practice, to the ancient wisdom of our ancestors, so that their mana and mauri may become centred within our personal spiritual self” - Julie Paama-Pengelly
With a Masters in Maori Visual Arts and a Masters in Development Studies, in the past Julie Paama-Pengelly has taught Art at various tertiary institutions, and Headed the Maori Visual Arts School for Awanuiarangi. Julie also wrote 'Maori Art and Design' which won a Maori Book Award in 2010. She serves as a consultant on building Art Collections, Maori Arts Education and Development for MOE and the tertiary sector, while also operating her own business Art + Body Creative Studio in Mount Maunganui.
Julie describes her core practice and values as ‘deriving from my passion to create a space for Maori to recover a positive identity and future development through our visual art traditions’.
In an excerpt of UNO Magazine, Bay of Plenty 2013:
"Julie began her artistic journey with Ta Moko in the early 1990s at which time she also began studies in Maori Visual Arts and Third World Development. In 2004, Julie was commissioned - along with New Zealand’s foremost Ta moko artists - to perform her practice in full view of the public at Te Papa National Museum. Over the exhibition period, Julie tattooed full peha or puhoro on two women (covering the lower back, hips and thighs down to the knee)."
"It is work on which Julie is consistently challenged, through a belief that females traditionally never wore the peha, it being considered the mark of a warrior. Julie asserts there is documentary evidence women did indeed wear peha, and there must be little doubt that many modern-day women deserve the title of warrior!"
As chairperson of Te Tuhi Mareikura Trust her vision is to establish unique connections with our heritage traditions to ensure Maori within Mataatua and beyond, have the opportunity to develop and celebrate their art identity so they may continue to thrive as a culture and people into the future.
In the creation of Ta Atea, a festival gathering of indigenous body marking practitioners from all over the world to strategise, educate and share a breadth of art traditions is the primary activity of TMT. The goal is to provide opportunities for Maori artists to develop skills, international networks and build audiences.