TARYN BERI FROM AOTEAROA
Born in 1984, Taryn Beri (New Zealand) specializes in taa moko (cultural tattooing) and contemporary Maori painting. Her journey as a professional artist started in 2008 when she moved to Gisborne to study at Toihoukura Maori Art School where she learned for one year. Following that, she began an intense one-on-one taa moko apprenticeship on the East Coast of New Zealand with a tohunga (master/expert) cultural tattooer. For three years she learned the tikanga (protocols), culture, techniques, patterns and designs associated with the cultural practice of taa moko. In 2011, she also studied Matauranga Maori (traditional knowledge) for one year at Te Wananga o Raukawa. In 2012 Taryn set out on her own to develop her art practice as a full time professional artist. Prior to 2008, her background was in Maori fashion and adornment design, graphic design and business management. Taryn has been involved with exhibitions at venues such as Te Papa Tongarewa National Museum of New Zealand, The Royal Ontario Museum (Canada), The Field Museum (Chicago), Musee du quai Branly (Paris), Ora NY Gallery (New York), Museo de la las culturas (Mexico City) and Musee de la civilization (Quebec) among others. She travels extensively throughout New Zealand and around the world tattooing, painting and exhibiting. Her favorite destinations to visit so far have been India, Egypt, Tahiti, Paris, Dubai, New York and Bali. She draws great inspiration from the different cultures, peoples and styles of art that she encounters on her journeys. The Divine Feminine and nga atua wahine (Maori goddesses) are a big source of inspiration for many of her paintings. Two of her biggest art idols are iconic Maori artist Robyn Kahukiwa and world renowned Mexican artist Frida Kahlo whom she has been inspired by from a young age. In late 2013, Taryn gave birth to a beautiful baby daughter. Themes of motherhood, conception, creation, birth, ancestral memory, transformation, personal growth, DNA information and the continuum of whakapapa (genealogy) from ancestors to offspring also feature in many of her art works. Her ancestors Te Rauparaha and Nohorua as well as their relation, the famed Te Rangi Topeora also inspire many of her art works and ideas. Maori cosmology, the stars, moon, sun, lightning and other natural phenomena also feature often in her artworks.
The inter-relatedness, similarities and commonalities between different indigenous groups of people around the world is of great interest to her. In 2015, Taryn initiated the formation of a Maori womens art group called the Toi Wahine Collective in her tribal hometown of Porirua, Wellington, New Zealand. She belongs to the Ngati Toarangatira, Te Atiawa and Ngati Raukawa tribes. In 2010 she was given an award for emerging Maori artists by the New Zealand government organisation, Creative New Zealand. Taryn currently runs several creative enterprises including Toi Tangata Maori Art Gallery, Te Uira Moko (tattooing), Kuiniklub (sovereignty mentoring for warrior women), and The Rainbow Light Tribe.