Lopdell House gallery (now Te Ure gallery) media release 2011:
Kathrin Simon’s black & white photographic exhibition ‘Close up Te Waka Huia’ gives a unique insight into the world of today’s Kapa Haka. It is a beautiful and moving portrayal of the dedication, passion and vitality of Aotearoa’s most successful and four-times National Champions, Te Waka Huia, as they prepare for the 2009 championship. Never before in their 30 years of existence has a photographer been invited to capture the team’s intense rehearsal time in the lead-up to the national championship. During their time together, Kathrin and the 80 squad team developed a strong rapport which allowed her to capture moments that are intimate and personal and give the viewer a new and fresh perspective on the art and meaning of Kapa Haka.
For the past three years Kathrin has captured New Zealand’s most vibrant dance companies to honour their achievements in the world of New Zealand dance. Documenting Te Waka Huia was part of this documentary but took on a whole life in itself. The strong and inspiring experience and the power and uniqueness of the photographs made Kathrin decide to single out the photographs as a stand-alone exhibition.