Mandy Cherry Joass graduated from the University of Canterbury School of Fine Arts in 2015 with of a Bachelor of Fine Arts, majoring in sculpture. While studying she won a number of prizes and scholarships. In her current practice she is using raranga (weaving) as a metaphor to explore themes relating to postcolonial identity.
Joass is expanding on traditional Maori imagery, techniques and materials to acknowledge the dichotomous accounts of these early interactions, which when woven together form the fabric of a bicultural society. She is a descendant of the first European settlers to arrive in New Zealand and also of Ngapuhi Whakapapa, and she expresses her biculturalism through her work.
Joass explains that the contrasts and tensions created by using disparate materials, harakeke and aluminium, or granite, steel and korokoi, for example, represents the complex interweaving of western cultures from the age of the industrial revolution and of Maori people from the Stone Age.