An exhibition titled Taonga Wahine will portray women's stories through mark-making, photography and the home.

It is based on questions asked at a two-day AKAU workshop in Kaikohe: where do you feel safe, who makes you feel safe, what makes you feel safe? The consistent answer was whanau and community, church, personal taonga and the home.

The workshop, held by the Kaikohe design and architectural studio AKAU, with backing from Ta Hauora o Ngapuhi to promote local women's health and safety, allowed the women to express personal or family life concepts in a safe environment.

Central to the stories were notions of the home, the domestic and the feminine.


Through pattern-making and screenprinting they were then brought to life on fabric.

Viewers at Taonga Wahine, which will be showing during Youth Week, May 21-29, will be introduced to each whanau through photography, with the women's stories and patterns revealed through different elements of the home.

"I am excited about what Taonga Wahine could mean for Kaikohe and beyond," AKAU director Ruby Watson said.

Alongside the exhibition will be healthy body and mind workshops, creative workshops and live music. Taonga Wahine opens on May 26 at 5pm, Library Lane, 97 Broadway, Kaikohe.