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"Let these vines hold you"; "Living off the land"; "Secret ingredients" and "Talo migration" 2023

Portrait of Cora-Allan looking directly at the camera. She wears a white floral garland in her hair.
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Born 1986. Niue and Māori. Ngā Puhi, Ngātitumutumu / Alofi, Liku.  

Lives and works in Tāmaki Makaurau/Auckland, Aotearoa/New Zealand. 

Pronouns: she/her 


"Let these vines hold you" 2023 

"Living off the land" 2023 

"Secret ingredients" 2023 

"Talo migration" 2023 


Hiapo cloth (paper mulberry), Kāpia ink, Togo ink, Whenua pigments, hydrochromic paint, ribbon, velvet, hihi shells, performance 

Courtesy of Cora-Allan, Aotearoa, Niue.

Cora-Allan is a Māori and Niue multidisciplinary artist who actively regenerates Niue hiapo practices by way of artwork, performance, installation, and curation. Hiapo is a form of bark cloth from the island nation of Niue and the practices of making and wearing have significantly decreased since colonisation. Cora-Allan has dedicated her practice to awakening hiapo by learning from her grandmother, other hiapo practitioners on the island, and viewing hiapo in museum collections. Cora-Allan's work has been instrumental in safekeeping and continuing intergenerational knowledges of hiapo making. The artist was emotionally impacted by viewing the objects as relics in museum collections, instead of as living materials that are integral to family and home. Hiapo is worn, kept, and protected for significant ceremonies in birth, life, and death.  


The artist makes hiapo from paper mulberry trees, the process of which incorporates the artist pounding, stretching, and expanding the bark into cloth material. The patterns in Cora-Allan's works reference flora and fauna in Niue, connecting the artist to her ancestral home. Within Cora-Allan's revival of hiapo, she draws attention to the significance of the material for the storing, sharing and continuation of knowledge. Her revival is a political act of resilience in the face of ongoing colonial harms across the Great Ocean and beyond. By performing in and on the hiapo, she embodies hiapo as more than material but a custodian and witness to things that are revealed and kept for safe keeping. 


Cora-Allan's artworks are activated by a free program of performances by the artist during opening week.  

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