Rachael Rakena is a video artist who works, frequently in collaboration with others, to create richly-layered performative installations, videos and digital stills. She draws inspiration from close family ties, the intricacies of personal relationships within a Kāi Tahu, Ngā Puhi and Pākehā ancestry and their interrelated histories and narratives, and from digital media technology.
Of Maori and European/Pakeha descent (Ngai Tahu, Nga Puhi) Rachael has exhibited widely throughout New Zealand and overseas including Australia, Italy, Germany, Poland, Lithuania, France, Turkey, Britain and the United States. In 2007, Aniwaniwa, a collaborative project with Brett Graham, was selected for the collateral events section of the 2007 Venice Biennale.
In work that is both ethereal and political she employs a new language and new tools derived from digital media and video to invoke a contemporary Maori identity that is timeless and fluid. She is a highly innovative artist who explores the application of contemporary technology to articulate timeless notions of Maori culture and identity that flow from the past, through the present and into the future.