Stills from Pacific Washup, Rachael Rakena (with Fez Fa’anana and Brian Fuata)

Rachael Rakena is a ground-breaking digital video artist, fast developing an international reputation as a keen collaborator with unique vision and artistry.

Of Maori descent, she draws inspiration from close family ties, the intricacies of personal relationships within a Kai Tahu, Nga Puhi and Päkehä ancestry and their interrelated histories and narratives, and from digital media technology. Her practice may be described as digital video work, with a performance and installation aspect of execution, but she mainly describes herself as a video artist.

Recent examples of Rachael’s work include the invitation to be part of a project in Sydney which culminated in Pacific Washup (single channel video installation) made in collaboration with two Samoan artists Fez Fa’anana and Brian Fuata. The work was included in Traveling Light: collaborative projects by Pacific Artists, curated by Blair French and Fiona Winning for the Pacific Wave Festival at the Performance Space of the Museum of Sydney from October to November 2004.

Click here to listen to an audio interview with the artist by Sarah Robins
(January 2006) [6.2 Mb]
Selected Recent Exhibitions
2005 Face Value: video portraiture from the Pacific (group show) Ivan Dougherty Gallery, COFA, University of New South Wales. Sydney. Australia
2005 Rerehiko (solo exhibition) The Dowse, Lower Hutt, NZ
2005 Taonga Whanau (solo show) with Otene and Hana Rakena, SoFA Gallery, Christchurch Arts Festival, Christchurch, NZ
2005 L’art urbain du Pacifique (Urban art from the Pacific) (group show) Chateau de Saint Auvent, Limousin, France
2004 Travelling Light: collaborative projects by Pacific artists (group exhibition) Pacific Wave Festival, Performance Space, Sydney, Australia
2004 Lightscape (group exhibition) SCAPE 04, Art and Industry Biennial, Cathedral Square, Christchurch, NZ
2004 The Greenhouse: multimedia art from New Zealand (group exhibition)
2004 Medienwechsel 3, Frankfurter Welle, Frankfurt, Germany
2004 Iwidotnz (solo exhibition) Marshall Seifert Gallery, Dunedin, NZ
2004 He Rere Kee - Taking Flight (group exhibition) Te Atinga, Toi Maori, New Zealand
2003 International Arts Festival, Tinakori Gallery, Wellington, NZ
2005 Smith, Huhana. ‘Rachael Rakena’ essay in Taiawhio: conversations with Maori artists. Volume 2. Edited by Huhana Smith, Te Papa Press, Wellington