Shared Histories

Shared Histories
John Tane Christeller
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Across the motu there are places that remind those who stop there of the bloody battles between Maori iwi and the Crown known as the New Zealand Wars. Many don' t know where these places are, most don' t stop. In 2021 Palmerston North poet and artist John Tane Christeller decided to visit the sites and record what he saw, and from his observations created a series of woodblock prints and short poems in English and te reo Maori. Collected together in Shared Histories they tell the stories of ordinary places where battles were fought and men, women and children died; places we drive past every day, often without knowledge or reflection. Christeller hopes his work will open up a conversation about the battle sites, what they meant to New Zealanders then and now, and perhaps help towards correcting an imbalance in how we remember those who fought there: Pakeha and Maori.
John Tane Christeller is a print artist and a poet who writes in English and te reo Maori. He lives in Palmerston North with his wife, Donna, following a career as a plant and insect scientist that took him to Japan, the US and Europe. Fragments from an Infinite Catalogue was his first book.