top of page



Body as flesh, land, water.

Body as sky, heavens, spirit.

Body as collective thought, as collective [in]action.​

Bodies of Woven Code presents an intricate dialogue between a diverse group of multi-disciplinary artists, who blur the lines between medium and dwell amid many forms of language and storytelling. Collectively creating an intimate sensory encounter, the exhibition positions poetry as interwoven with an array of creative practices including performance, mixed-media installation, sculpture, projection and sound. Paying homage to the body as a creative vessel, Bodies of Woven Code explores the power that language holds in the expansion and contraction of our inner and outer worlds.

Matariki, Māhina & Tihema Bennett

Bella Waru

Irihipeti Waretini

Jahra Wasasala 

Eliza Vawdrey-Roy

Janina Nana Yaa

Trixi Rosa

Miriam Barr

Rachael Naomi

Bodies of Woven Code

Produced by Ed Waaka, featuring Mila Crawford

BOWC - Matariki Bennett.jpg

T īhema Bennett (Te Arawa, Ngāti Pikiao, Ngāti Whakaue, Ingarangi) (He/him) is an Indigenous composer working in the film and television industry in Aotearoa. Tihema’s work focuses on creative storytelling through a diverse and youthful Māori lens. He holds a Bachelor of Music majoring in Composition and Sonic Arts and has studied specialized piano and big band jazz abroad at the Conservatorio Vicente Emilio Sojo in Barquisimeto, Venezuela. T īhema has scored music for various commercials as well as for both regional and international bands, including Fletcher Living and Cisco Technologies. He has also scored music in long-form television series and films including; The Confessions of Prisoner T (2010), Waka Huia (2016) and Te Kohu – The Mist (2021) co-written and co-directed by sibling Matariki. T īhema was nominated for a New Zealand Television Award for Best Original Score alongside co-composer Joel Haines for their work on In Dark Places. T īhema has collaborated on multimedia piece with his siblings, Māhina and T īhema; Pēpi Hā (2021) and exhibiting installation Guns and Bad Stuff

Matariki Bennett 

in collaboration with siblings, Māhina and Tīhema Bennett

Matariki Bennett (Te Arawa, Ngāti Pikiao, Ngāti Whakaue, Ingarangi) (She/her) is a poet, writer and artist from Aotearoa, working in the film and television industry. Her writing training began at Intermediate school, where she studied Creative Writing remotely through the New York-based Gotham Writers Workshop. She went on to gain a Diploma in Screen Production from South Seas Film and Television School (2019). Since graduating, Bennett has directed short film Tōku Reo (2019), short documentary Wind, Song and Rain (2021), Te Mangai Pāho (2022) and has co-written and co-directed Te Kohu – The Mist as

part of TVNZ Horror Anthology Beyond the Veil (2021) alongside Michael Bennett and Jane Holland. She is a founding member of bilingual poetry slam team Ngā Hine Pūkōrero, who are Aotearoa and Australasian Spoken Word Slam champions, and were finalists in Brave New Voices youth poetry slam (2019, USA). Locally, the group was honoured with the Creative New Zealand Ngā Manu Pirere Award (2021), recognising outstanding emerging Māori artists. They also undertook a residency as part of the significant, Toi Tu Toi Ora exhibition at Toi o Tāmaki Auckland Art Gallery (2021). Matariki has collaborated on two multimedia pieces with her siblings, Māhina and T īhema; Pēpi Hā (2021) and exhibiting installation Guns and Bad Stuff.


Māhina Bennett (Te Arawa, Ngāti Pikiao, Ngāti Whakaue, Ingarangi) (She/her) is a multi-disciplinary Indigenous artist from Aotearoa. Her work embraces various mediums including textiles, photography, moving image and installation, and focuses on complex ideas around identity. Specifically, Māhina’s work interrogates a general theme of her own whakapapa, expanding on ideas around heritage, place, belonging and the lived experience of being a mixed-wāhine Māori. Navigating these ideas derivative from the Māori oral-history based culture, conversation is at the centre of her practice. Kōrero, pūrākau and toi are some ways in which Māori history is relayed, and are synonymous with research processes in her practice. Māhina holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Auckland’s Elam School of Fine Arts and has studied Fine Arts at University of California Los Angeles (UCLA). Māhina has exhibited in various group exhibitions in Aotearoa and has collaborated on two multimedia pieces with her siblings, Matariki and T īhema; Pēpi Hā (2021) and exhibiting installation Guns and Bad Stuff.

Play Audio

Guns and Bad Stuff

2022, mixed media installation

Guns and Bad Stuff 2022, mixed media installationThree siblings Matariki, Māhina and T īhema Bennett have collaborated on Guns and Bad Stuff, an installation that brings together poetry, audio, textile and printing techniques. Initially shown in part as part of Auckland Pride at the Albert Park Caretaker’s Cottage, Guns and Bad Stuff initiated the collaborative tuakana-teina practice of Māhina and Matariki, then joined by their brother T īhema who composed the accompanying audio. Māhina felt responsible to allow the words of her sister’s poem to speak for themselves, to provide them with the permanence of writing, to elevate them as a piece of art, giving the physicality of words the same significance as their meaning. Guns and Bad Stuff as a visual artwork plays with the tensions of materiality in the softness and delicacy of silk and intensity of word. Respectively to her practice, the work’s interaction with the space gives life to the artwork, with wind acting as breath carrying the words through the whare.

BOWC - Bella Waru.jpg

Bella Waru


Bella Waru (Ngati Tukorehe // Te Ati Awa) is a movement and sound artist, cultural producer, performer, weaver, community arts facilitator and body worker living, listening and responding across sacred, unceded Indigenous lands, currently those of the Kulin Nation in so-called-australia. 

A diasporic Indigenous Sovereign and queer femme, Waru creates stories and spaces to honour, uplift, protect and nourish the vitality of their communities, ancestral knowledges, cultures and lands. They create, emerging from and returning to the body as a vessel of personal, ancestral and earth memory, invested in embodied experiences of connection, healing, incantation, transmutation and celebration.

Kaitiaki: Sovereign Reflections Series

2020 - 2022, framed photographs

In celebration of Indigenous community & the Indigenous future-pasts we are remembering, living, conjuring...

I am documenting the living whakapapa of my own Sovereign elders, friends, whānau, mentors & loves as they intersect with and are reflected by me.

To see ourselves, Mana-ful(l).

An archive of the guides, visionaries, pioneers, protectors, nurturers and healers in this, my, community. The messengers among us.


These are our affirmations. These are my//our Kaitiaki. This is our Sovereign Reflection.

BOWC - Iripeti Waretini.jpg

Irihipeti Waretini


Irihipeti Waretini (Ngāti Rangi) is a multi-disciplinary artist whose practice centres decolonising self-care practices, visual and vocal storytelling. Irihipeti develops pathways and ritual to rebuild and maintain a sustainable and regenerative practice of community care. Her mediums include contemporary Māori toi, photography, film making, personal essays, song writing, live looping and kōauau. She is the co-director of Ipu Ti, was the recipient of Ilbijerri 2022 BlackWrights and was awarded the Multiculture Victoria’s People Choice Award for the Capturing Culture Exhibition (2022). Irihipeti was co-curator of Djeembana Whakaora: First Nations Medicine & Healing at the Geoffrey Kay Museum of Anaesthetic History (Melbourne). Together with Ataria Rangipikitia Sharman of Awa Wahine they create oceanic collaborations to empower the voices of indigenous, Pasifika and POC women and non-binary writers. Irihipeti lives and practises on the sacred unceded lands of the Wurundjeri, Woi Wurrung and Bunurong peoples of the Kulin Nation.

Play Audio


2022, mixed media

"May we speak of our Atua Wāhine with as much reverence and sacredness as Mother Mary". 

We invite you to speak their names, whakahā ōna ingoa. 

The teachings of the Māramatanga a Te Māreikura are very clear, we are not to adopt Christianity at the expense of tikanga Māori.


Reconciling her English, Irish, French and Māori lineages, Irihipeti Waretini explores the impacts that patriarchal systems have had in silencing the voices of her kuia, our Atua Wāhine and generations of birthing stories on both sides of her whakapapa, in this piece named Māramatanga.

Jahra Wasasala


is an internationally performing artist and world-builder of Fijian and Pakeha origin, born and raised on the unceded land of Aotearoa and living within the spaces of potential between embodiments. Within the Islands of Viti (Fiji), they hail from the provinces of Ba and Macuata. Jahra’s solo works and collaborations have toured across Aotearoa, Australia, Hawai’i, New York, Utah, Berlin, Guahån and Canada. More information about Jahra’s work can be found at their website (

Play Audio

this body is not ours. they are asking for it back. 

2022, mixed media installation

this body is not ours. they are asking for it back. is a brief vision into a larger world-building exploration within Jahra’s wider creative world-work KALOUGATA. this body is not ours. they are asking for it back. holds a collection of ‘memory fragments’ from this evolving world. One of the featured fragments is an audio-origin story, written through the recollection of one of Jahra’s primary embodiments as they detail one of the vivid reality-breaking moments of when they are re-made and reborn.Within these ‘memory fragments’ includes live performances from two of Jahra’s collaborating dance artists, Byrin Mita (XIII) and Tara Hodge (performing on the 20th and 21st of August) who, under Jahra Wasasala’s direction, work with transmuting the story through their own body’s knowledge and memory. This memory fragment transmutation is also experienced by collaborating sound artist Spewer (Oliver Luki) through his music for their performances. The sculpted head piece that will feature in the performances is made by artists Exomorph and Thorn Richards.

Movement activation by XIII (Byrin Mita) with soundscape by Spewer. Both in response to Jahra Wasasala's exhibiting work, an audio saga by the same title.

Movement activation by Tara Hodge with soundscape by Spewer. Both in response to Jahra Wasasala's exhibiting work, an audio saga by the same title.

BOWC - Janina Nana Yaa.JPG

Janina Nana Yaa


Janina Nana Yaa is a Ghanaian non-binary, multidisciplinary artist based in Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland, Aotearoa. Their creations interweave deep ritualistic connection to their West Afrikan ancestry through fluid vocals and channeled movement manifesting itself in performance art, poetry and sound. Janina aims to cultivate spells and space that harvest a deeper relationship to ourselves as Ancestor and Land; demonstrating the fluid embrace between all things and the healing that can take place if we allow it. Janina holds a Foundation of Art and Design from Whitecliffe College (2012) and has facilitated community events and workshops for Queer BIPOC throughout Naarm (Melbourne) and Aotearoa. They produced and performed the activation Nipadua - The Human Tree with the support of local Black, Indigenous and Pasifika artists (2020) and featured on AMA, a performative art activation by Grace Bentley-Tsibuah for Tempo Festival New Zealand (2020). Janina also hold several musical accolades, releasing music as a solo-vocalist as Sióness and on collaborative music projects including with Less is More (2017). Most recently, they released debut single Oya as ‘Janina Nana Yaa’ featuring ashtrejinkins (2021).

Eliza Vawdrey-Roy


is a Samoan-European multi-disciplinary artist, based in Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland, Aotearoa. Their expressions and creations are an accumulation of both lived experiences as well as channelled visions which are showcased through intuitive spells, drawings, paintings, poetry and movement. Eliza’s intention is for collective healing and liberation through the acknowledgment and reclamation of our interconnection with each other, the seen and the unseen. Their creative work has been showcased both online and in person, as well as being sold both locally and internationally.


2022, mixed media installation

Sankofa, to return to

O La’u Fale Lea, my home

A journey and navigation of remembering and reclaiming the Ancestral body.


Reflecting on the past, moving within the present, birthing portals into the future.


- Eliza Vawdrey-Roy and Janina Nana Yaa



‘Hungering for depth, for strength

Thirsty for the waters my soul still remembers

Engraved in my palms and at the soles of my feet

Engraved in the stars that have guided me’


A remembering and reclamation of what was taken and buried beneath a multitude of layers, both internally and externally.

An intuitive unravelling and navigation, guided by spirit, ancestors and nature, including myself as each of these entities.


- Eliza Vawdrey-Roy