Nine Maori artists have come together for an exhibition on suicide.

He Taonga Awhina - The Treasured Gift of Life - is currently showing at Gallery On Guyton.

The professional and emerging artists in the show are Bill Ranginui, Ngatai Taepa, Jade Ormsby, Claudine Muru, Hinemoa Ranginui, Glen Hutchins, Nigel Scanlon and Te Autiti Hikaka-Gilsenan.

There is a wide variety of media, including paintings and carvings.


Organiser Hinemoa Ranginui said all the artists were passionate about enhancing the lives of their communities, and hoped their art would help the conversation around suicide.

"Suicide is a significant community health problem," she said.

"The key message is that suicide is preventable, and it's everybody's business."

Ms Ranginui said art prints featuring the artists' designs were for sale during the exhibition. A percentage from each art print sold would be donated to Te Ora Hou, a Wanganui-based community and youth support organisation.

Ms Ranginui said six of the artists taking part in the exhibition had contributed artwork to a poster, which included a list of places to get help.

"These have been distributed to schools and local support services, and there are also some available for the public at Gallery On Guyton."

Everyone who visits the gallery also has the opportunity to win a poster featuring Tanemahuta, a collaboration between Bill Ranginui and Jade Ormsby.

The exhibition was sponsored by Waka Hourua and Creative New Zealand. It runs until October 17.