About Ahilapalapa Rands
Ahilapalapa Rands (Hawaiian, Fijian, Pākehā) is an independent curator, writer and artist from Aotearoa (New Zealand). She is driven to create and imagine alternative ways of exhibition making. Her multidisciplinary methodology is informed by issues relevant to Indigeneity and investigating ways that settler colonisation has and continues to inform narratives and power dynamics in the Pacific.
Recent projects include: lei-pā: a curatorial exhibition in collaboration with Lana Lopesi presented by ST PAUL St Gallery, 2017; Cold Islanders a group exhibition at Waikato Museum Te Whare Taonga o Waikato, Hamilton, 2017; Indigenous Arts Journal Residency, The Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity, Banff, 2017.
New Zealand artist, Ahilapalapa (Ahi) Rands creates alternative ways of making art and often gives a voice to people and stories not traditionally represented in art or cultural institutions. She frequently works with communities and creates art in response to her surroundings. For Ahi, it is about identifying the most authentic way to communicate ideas based on the people she meets and the places she works.
About ‘The Sewerby Cookbook’
Ahi was artist-in-residence at Sewerby Hall and Gardens. As part of her residency, she created a community cookbook inspired by the history of Sewerby Hall, the people who work in the Hall, the gardens today, and local recipes from Bridlington, the East Riding and further afield. The cookbook includes over 40 recipes submitted by residents from across the region, including international recipes supplied by some of the newcomers to Hull who are learning English with Hull-based community organisation, Welcome to English.
For Sewerby, Ahi created a cookbook to explore how our own personal relationship with food makes us the unique individuals we are, and also how food brings us all together and helps shape our communities.
Ahi states: “A cookbook was the perfect way to talk about how our own personal relationship with food makes us the unique individuals we are, and also how food brings us all together and helps shape our communities. Food has an important part to play in the history of Sewerby Hall and the modern-day Hall that visitors know and love. Producing the Sewerby Cookbook is my way of giving something back and being part of its ongoing history.”
Food has also had an important part to play in the history of Sewerby Hall and Gardens. The Sewerby Cookbook joins a longstanding tradition, begun by former resident, Almary Greame, of recording local recipes that are particular to Sewerby Hall and Rands has made reference to Almary’s Housekeeping Book in her cookbook.
The Sewerby Cookbook can now take its place as part of Sewerby Hall’s ongoing history.
An exhibition around The Sewerby Cookbook, ran from Saturday 24 March to Sunday 3 June 2018 at Sewerby Hall and Gardens.
Ahilapalapa Rands in one of four artists responding to the theme of ‘food’ in the first year of our 3-year ‘Surrounding’ project entitled ‘You Are What You Eat’.
About The Oceanic Reading Room
‘The Oceanic Reading Room’ is part of the ‘Encounters’ exhibition which is part of worldwide events that mark the 250th anniversary of James Cook’s first voyage to the Pacific in 1768. On display at Whitby Library until 24th August 2018, ‘Encounters’ explores the scientific and artistic impacts of Cook’s voyage, and the shared histories of encounter between Cook and the Peoples of the Pacific.
‘Encounters’ runs from 7th July to 24th August 2018 at Whitby Library, Windsor Terrace, Whitby, North Yorkshire, YO21 1ET.
Image: Ahilapalapa Rands. Photo credit David Chalmers, courtesy of Invisible Dust