Kokiri Putahi

When I spoke with ceramic artist Courtney M. Leonard on Episode 4 of ABC, she had recently returned from a journey to Aotearoa (New Zealand). There she engaged in a two week indigenous artists gathering, Kokiri Putahi, where people of different craft from around the globe were invited to work side by side in an intensive sharing of culture and technique, creating a immensely dynamic event that will continue to weave together the lives of the artists involved for years to come.

Indigenous Artists Courtney M. Leonard, Tai Mamaku and Victor Tepaa at Kokiri Putahi 2014.

Indigenous Artists Courtney M. Leonard, Tai Mamaku and Victor Tepaa at Kokiri Putahi 2014.

Leonard was glowing when she spoke of her experience at Kokiri Putahi, and so I felt compelled to share a bit more about the 7th International Indigenous Gathering of Artists.

"Kokiri Putahi will always be with me...the beauty of that time and place is shared within our voices...our heart...our creative spirit...we came together and shared...in the second week there was a beautiful exhibition of our works...during that time we talked about the beauty of it...that there was no "competition"...no "negative" thoughts that often occur during "Indian Markets" in the United States...because it wasn't about that...it wasn't about Market...it was about who we are as human beings...we collaborated...we came together...and my hope is that at some point that energy will travel far and wide..." -Courtney M. Leonard

Below is a film that captures the essence of the experience from this extraordinary event.