Chevron Hassett

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We are Chevron Hassett and Robert Laking, two Wellington-based artists and writers of Māori descent.

Chevron's art-practice is community-oriented and spans photography, mural painting and sculpture. His primary focus is on cultural identity, urbanisation, whakapapa and tikanga.

Robert has a research-based conceptual art-practice, this stems from his keen interest in language and writing.

firstdraft Gallery in Sydney have accepted our proposal for Chevron to produce an exhibition focussing on the shared history of Australia and Aotearoa, with curatorial assistance from Robert. This will be our first time exhibiting internationally.

The central tenet of the exhibition is the history of Māori trade and migration. We see ourselves travelling to New South Wales in a spiritual capacity similar to our tūpuna before us; travelling to engage in trade of ideas and objects, as well as to share experiences. Because this exhibition focuses on both history and Māori culture, we will spend a lot of our time conducting further research and writing the accompanying catalogue, so that the ideas in the work will be accessible and educational for all.

New South Wales has a strong historical connection to Aotearoa New Zealand, Sydney is the oldest site of residence for Māori living overseas. Prior to the signing of Te Tiriti o Waitangi, Aotearoa was governed from N.S.W. Following its establishment as a penal colony in 1788, Port Jackson quickly became a destination for Māori looking for work and trade. The first documented arrival is as early as 1793. Māori traded knowledge and wares in exchange for armaments and crops.

We would like to present a body of work which is informed by the trans-Tasman voyages of Māori for trade and work. The primary focus will be large scale sculptural works with an emphasis on whakairo.

Nāku noa,

nā Chevron māua ko Robert


Born in 1994, Lower Hutt, Chevron is of Ngāti Porou, Ngāti Rongomaiwahine, Ngāti Kahungunu and Pākehā heritage. He holds a Bachelor of Design (Hons) from Massey University, Wellington (2016). In 2017, he was awarded the Ngā Manu Pirere Award from Te Waka Toi and Creative New Zealand.

Born in Wellington in 1995, Robert is of Pākehā, German, and Māori (Te Whakatōhea) descent. He graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Hons) from Massey University in 2017. Last year he was the Liz Stringer Curatorial Intern at the New Zealand Portrait Gallery. Currently, he is developing his art practice and honing his curatorial and writing skills.