Meet Contemporary Maori Artist Arohanoa Mathews | doodlewear

Unveiling the Creative Essence: A Conversation with Arohanoa Mathews, the Contemporary Maori Artist

Creative Chat with Contemporary Maori Artist Arohanoa Mathews

Meet Arohanoa Mathews of Arohanoa Artistry, a Tauranga-based contemporary Maori artist. Arohanoa's art serves as a profound reflection of her identity and roots, intricately weaving her cultural heritage as a Maori through the prominent use of the 'kauae' (chin tattoo). Her work embodies the concept of 'Mana Wahine', empowering women to assert their voices in all aspects of life—be it in the workplace, home, relationships, or beyond. Arohanoa's aim is to ignite inspiration among women, encouraging them to embrace their own voices and empower themselves.



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Arohanoa shares, "Kia ora, ko Arohanoa ahau, no Tauranga Moana. I am a daughter to two amazing parents (Māori mum and Pakeha dad - with many other cultures that I am a descendant ie Danish, French and German). I am a wife and mum to two grown sons and live in Matapihi, Tauranga. I graduated with a Fine Arts and Design Degree and have been practising art since ‘ages ago’! I express my love and connection with my Māori culture and identity through my paintings and designs”

Embracing Heritage: The Journey Unfolds

Arohanoa's artistic voyage stems from a lineage adorned with artistry. She reflects, "I come from a line of Artists in my family - so it was going to happen one way or another." Despite childhood dreams of becoming a ballerina or a nurse, fate steered her towards a fulfilling path as a secondary school art teacher and a practicing artist for over two decades.

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doodlewear 'Tukutuku Moko' art print ladies hoodie by Contemporary Maori Artist Arohanoa Mathews of Arohanoa Artistry.


Painting Stories: The Muse and Methodology

For Arohanoa, justice ignites inspiration. She shares, "I’m not a fan of bullies or wrongdoings to others." Her art serves as a platform to advocate for justice and social consciousness. Each stroke on her canvas resonates with passion and purpose, a testament to her commitment to empowering women and amplifying their stories.


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Evolution of Art: A Journey Through Time

Over the years, Arohanoa's art has evolved while maintaining its contemporary and abstract signature. She reflects, "My subject matter changes but my methodology is constant - layers on layers." Her Mana Wahine Series stands as a pinnacle, laying the foundation for her stunning Doodlewear Collaboration Collection.



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Igniting Inspiration: The Spark Behind Each Stroke

When asked about her muse, Arohanoa passionately expresses, "I need to be passionate about what I convey when painting - social accounts, culture and identity and being that I am a woman, I want to help other women share their stories and to thrive." Her art is a manifestation of her passion for social consciousness, cultural heritage, and female empowerment. Each piece resonates with narratives of resilience, strength, and the vibrant tapestry of womanhood. Through her art, Arohanoa not only paints stories but also amplifies the voices of women, creating a space for them to thrive and share their narratives.


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Embracing References: Anchoring Artistry

Arohanoa's creative process intertwines with her respect for authenticity. When asked about her use of photo references, she explains, "Mostly for portraits (always from an original source - either family or myself)." Each brushstroke carries the essence of real-life narratives, immortalising moments and emotions with respect and authenticity. Through her art, Arohanoa pays homage to the rich tapestry of human experience, anchored firmly in the authenticity of original references.



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A Glimpse Behind the Scenes: Artistry Unveiled

Arohanoa's artistry extends beyond the confines of canvas; it resonates through the digital realm. When asked what she's known for, she shares, "Probably my art on social platforms - being myself and showcasing my life in different ways, sort of like the Behind the Scenes sneak-peek." Through social platforms, Arohanoa offers her audience a rare glimpse into the creative process, inviting them to witness the journey behind each masterpiece. Her authenticity shines through, captivating hearts and minds as she paints a vivid tapestry of life, art, and identity.


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doodlewear 'Purple Kōrero' art print Staple tee shirts by Contemporary Maori Artist Arohanoa Mathews of Arohanoa Artistry.


Navigating Life's Canvas: Advice and Aspirations

Arohanoa's artistic journey is paved with invaluable wisdom. To aspiring artists, she advises, "To be a trailblazer in art, you need to be a step ahead of the rest, be innovative and original." She encourages her younger self and fellow artists to embrace self-belief, continuous learning, and perseverance. Reflecting on her own path, Arohanoa imparts guidance she wishes she had received earlier, affirming, "Back yourself 100%; Know that you are never too old to learn something new; Don’t rely just on your talent, hard work will give you that edge on everyone else." In the midst of life's hustle, Arohanoa finds solace in art, likening it to meditation. She asserts, "I can look inwards and be ‘present’. When I am stressed or uncertain about things, art brings me clarity." In her quest to balance life's demands with creative pursuits, discipline becomes paramount. Arohanoa shares her strategy, revealing, "Plan, plan, plan and schedule it in like any other appointment! Discipline is key."


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 doodlewear 'Moko Kauae Horizon' art print ladies sweatshirt by Contemporary Maori Artist Arohanoa Mathews of Arohanoa Artistry.


Embrace the Canvas: A Call to Action

As we delve into the vibrant world of Arohanoa Mathews' artistry, let's celebrate the essence of cultural heritage, empowerment, and creativity. Explore her Doodlewear Collaboration Collection and immerse yourself in the narratives woven intricately on her canvas. Let art be the channel for self-discovery and empowerment. In the canvas of life, let's paint stories that resonate, empower, and inspire. Dare to embrace your voice, celebrate your heritage, and paint your story with bold strokes of authenticity and passion.

Explore Arohanoa Artistry's Doodlewear Collaboration Collection »





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