At Home With Raukura Turei

Featured Creative

Photographer Rob Tennent
At Home With Raukura Turei

Meet Raukura Turei, an artist, mother, and architect at Monk McKenzie. We visited Raukura in her harmonious home and discussed the ideas and inspiration around her space.

When do you feel most creative?

I feel most creative when i’ve had a decent sleep and am not under stress. My best ideas and headspace often comes when I step away from my workspace and occupy myself with something completely different. Gathering whenua or onepū (black sand) along the coastline is a favourite space for creativity. Having a dedicated studio space that I carve out time for painting each week has had a huge impact on my practise as an artist.

A place where everything I need has been left out from the last time I was there and I can make as much mess as I need.

Tell us about the inspiration and ideas around your space.

We live at Cohaus, a community of like minded people who want to live with a smaller footprint and share resources where we can. This apartment was the first opportunity I have had to design elements of my own living space. I worked with the Architect's Helle and Thom to modify parts of the space to enhance the natural light, add colour and customise the kitchen.

Little bold moves that have had a huge impact on a compact space. I had a wonderful carpenter Miles Smith who built the plywood kitchen cabinets and had the Fragment Dining table finished with the same Osmo tint to match. We made everything go as far as we could, such as creating a custom stool for the high cupboards out of offcuts from the shelves, using solid timber for handles and shelves to display some of our favourite things.

Raukura wears the Crushed Silk Top by Rory William Docherty & Everyday Egg Pendant by Sophie Buhai.

How does this space function?

After our daughter Hinauri was born I made a conscious move to shift our creative practices out of the house. I use to paint in the lounge and my partner Moko had a Tā Moko studio in the spare room of our last apartment. Lockdown aside we treasure our separate studio spaces so we can keep our little whare free from work life (as much as possible).

Living in a small footprint however means that all aspects of life happen in a single space, with the kitchen table being the heart. In saying that we are total maximalists and have adorned the walls and shelves with art work and tāonga from friends and makers we love.

Who inspires you?

Those who are holding true to what they believe in and pushing the mahi that is against the grain is who I find really inspiring. After having my daughter I have felt the push to only put my energy into things that bring me joy and are worthy of my time. My partner and his work inspires and challenges me; listening and speaking the reo Māori keeps me sane; my courageous mother and all the wāhine in my life guide me through everything I do are a constance source of inspo.

Who are your favourite designers and artists right now?

Wāhine Māori are having a moment in the creative scene in Aotearoa and abroad right now. The collective spirit of groups such as Mataaho Collective, Kauae Raro Research Collective, ĀKAU, Pacific Sisters and my Art Aunties are incredibly inspiring forces to be witnessing and practicing alongside. I was particularly inspired by the talk Anne Lacaton gave at the recent In-situ conference and how much of a rebel her and her partner are in challenging Government Funded State Housing projects to do so much more with minimal budgets.

Fragment Dining Table by Simon James, Frame Chair by Established & Sons, Ursula Vase by Margi Nuttall and Natural Mug & Bowl by Hasami.

Artwork by Raukura Turei

Tell us why you chose your custom Fragment Dining Table and Frame Chairs?

The Frame chairs came first, I had loved them the first time I saw them in Kristine Crabb’s workroom and told her that if she ever wanted to sell them that I would take them. Luckily for me she did when she closed Miss Crabb and rebranded as Gloria.

The table came at a very opportune time when I was designing the cabinetry for the kitchen and wanted a strong piece to bridge the kitchen and living spaces together. I had admired it for some time and was very fortunate to work with Simon to have it finished to match the cabinetry. I couldn’t feel more adult than having this dining table and feel like it is very indestructible, even with a 2 year old.

Raukura works on a Tukutuku kit by Whatu Creative

What other pieces from Simon James do you personally resonate with?

My daughter is loving the Nutrient Hand & Body Wash by SURFACE and can’t get enough at bath time.

What is next for you?

I have some incredible papakāinga projects that I am leading at Monk Mackenzie which are very humbling to be a part of. It has also been a busy time for my art practice with several shows all building up at the end of the year. I have just had a suite of new paintings open at Day01 Gallery in Sydney which runs until mid December which is very exciting.

As soon as my partner and I's new studio space opens at Corbans Estate Art Centre in Henderson, I will present a solo show to mark the opening early in the new year, so watch this space.

A summer break also couldn’t come sooner, nau mai Hine Raumati!

Discover Rukura's Exhibition's and Art online here.