A Warutini series - Irihipeti Waretini & Bella Waru

Bats, Moths & Centipedes: What we lose in the dark... (2020)

Bats, Moths & Centipedes - What we lose in the dark... at the seat of Te Pō, where we navigate the dark. Unknown, undefined, limitless potential.

The debut short film collaboration of artists Irihipeti Waretini & Bella Waru is an interpretation of the realms and lessons of Te Pō, its kaitiaki and guides - through the eyes and minds of one whaanau, one home and three generations of Indigenous vision. An art film articulating Indigenous (Māori) visions through dance, moving portraiture and resonant sound, evoking and expressing how the makers experience and navigate the ‘Dark’. That is, the spaces of the unknown and the undefined, and at the same time, limitless potential. 

Bats, Moths & Centipedes - What we lose in the dark… is an exploration of the relatedness between us, our animal kin, our environment, our healing, our understanding of ourselves and one another. An insight into the learning and growth that is possible in listening to, witnessing and experiencing nature’s cycles and rhythms. 

Conceptualised and produced during the early months of 2020’s Covid Lockdown in Naarm (Melbourne, Australia). Bats, Moths & Centipedes - What we lose in the dark... is a culturally responsive work for this moment in time, with screening credits including Together Apart Festival (AUS), Tempo Dance Festival (NZ) & Festival OperaEstate (ITALY). 

If We Could Hug (2020)

If we could hug… it would feel like coming home. This film is an open letter to our community – an audio-visual care package reminding the people we love how it feels to be held by us, with an offering of connectedness, appreciation and warmth. This is one of the ways we are maintaining care and support for the collective wellbeing of our community within the restrictions of physical distance.

If we could hug was presented as part of MAV's 2020 Shelter commissions.


Video Description: Footage of the hands and arms of Aida, Aïsha, Ella, Marcelina, Rolly, Senuri, Tanya and Bella appear in front of panels of yellow/orange fabric, with shadowed silhouettes of arms and bodies, superimposed over one another, fading between images. Some arms and hands are adorned with tattoos and ancestral markings. They slowly caress the fabric in upward and downward strokes, reach for other hands across the fabric and clutch the fabric in embraces. The silhouettes appear to caress each others arms and reach for one another. In one shot the hands carry and manipulate a draped deep blue fabric. The action of hands flipping from palm-up to palm-down repeats a number of times throughout. At the end, text appears over the swaying fabric panels reading: ‘If we could hug… Irihipeti Waretini & Bella Waru’ followed by, ‘To the hands who held us through this, Aida Azin, Aïsha Trambas, Ella Benore Rowe, Marcelina Pijewska, Rolly Loughlin, Senuri Chandrani, Tanya Grant’.

As We Bloom (2021)

As We Bloom is a place of reverence in honour and celebration of the growth, expansion and self-realisation the artists witness in their community as they collectively create the space and support systems to ‘become’ and to receive the healing they deserve.

As We Bloom was presented by Arts House as part of Housewarming.

Step into a series of serene, fragrant settings in which the cycles of nature echo the flourishing of the community surrounding the artists. These gently evocative spaces are home to a series of moving portraits that make vivid our potential for growth and self-actualisation.

Inspired by plant life, fauna and a wealth of people who have proven consistently able to flourish in challenging times, As We Bloom is a meditative appreciation of our capacity for growth.

An intimate and thought-provoking conversation between a performer and filmmaker, it is testimony to the kind of art that can only be made through deep, and sustained collaboration and the support of a diverse and resilient community.