Jude Te Punga Nelson
Jude Te Punga Nelson (Te Āti Awa) stepped into the Māori weaving world through Te Wananga o Aotearoa, 2012. She graduated in 2016 with a BA Maunga Kura Toi (Raranga). Through this journey, she has come to recognize that something was missing in her Pakeha upbringing, and she feels like her life and art are coming into focus as she discovers her Māori roots and traditions. Currently she is exploring the art of Tāniko. This uniquely Māori variation of finger twining is used to create colourful geometric borders on highly prized cloaks. Each pattern has spiritual and physical meanings: sadly, some meanings have been lost over time. Jude states, “I’m in awe of the ancestor’s weaving. No graph paper and coloured pencils, no Excel spreadsheets, no good quality lighting and no glasses, no running hot water to keep their hands clean. And yet their mahi was highly complex and superbly woven.” Her work has been purchased by museums, corporations, and private collectors across Aotearoa.