Ahilapalapa Rands was born in Aotearoa and has whakapapa to Hawaii, Samoa, Cook Islands, Fiji, Scotland, Ireland and England. She holds a Bachelor of Visual Arts from Auckland University of Technology and a Diploma in Te Reo Māori from Te Wananga o Raukawa in Ōtaki, Aotearoa. She loves working collaboratively and has co-founded and worked in collectives for over a decade including D.A.N.C.E. art club alongside Vaimaila Urale, Tuafale Tanoa’i aka Linda T, and Chris Fitzgerald; London based Interis*land Collective alongside Lyall Hakaraia, Jo Walsh and Jessica Palalagi and most recently Moana Fresh with Vaimaila Urale. An aspiring decolonial cancerian to her core she works to restore, rediscover and perpetuate ways of being and creating in relationship with one another across our Moana nui a Kiwa. Ahilapalapa’s art practice has a focus on her lived experience as part of the Hawaiian diaspora navigating colonial borders that block access to ancestral homelands. All of this living and making is informed by being tangata tiriti here in beautiful Aotearoa and continuing to engage with and understand what that means in practice.
ʻMy fave mea ai is lau lau (a Hawaiian dish made of pork and butterfish wrapped in luʻau leaves and ti leaves)ʻ