Otago Polytechnic

Ko kā taura e paihere ai

Artist Marion Wassenaar teamed up with scientist Tanya Major to explore the suffering caused by gout.

Ka mahi tahi tētahi rikatoi, a Marion Wassenar, rāua ko tētahi kaipūtaiao, a Tanya Major, kia whakatewhatewha i te mamae nā te porohau.


Gout is a serious health problem in Aotearoa, New Zealand. An increasing number of (mainly) New Zealand Māori and Pacific Island men are affected, with South Auckland now regarded as "the gout capital of the world". The gout sufferer must deal with the physical pain and disability of gout attacks, whilst also being confronted with feelings of self-blame and shame for their gout diagnosis, which is reinforced by the lack of understanding from the general public, who see gout as an easily avoidable condition associated with an indulgent lifestyle. The Art and Genetics collaborative project in 2017 was an opportunity to engage with the community in a new, creative way and spread the message that gout is a genetic disease that can be treated.

Tanya Major and her colleagues in the Merriman Laboratory (Department of Biochemistry) at the University of Otago are identifying the specific genes that are associated with gout and sharing these findings with gout patients and the general public. Tanya's aim is to understand how these genes cause gout, and how they might change a person's symptoms or response to treatment, with the goal of improving the lives of people with gout.

Marion Wassenaar, an artist and lecturer at Otago Polytechnic's Dunedin School of Art, worked with Tanya Major for the Art and Genetics project. The artwork, Ties That Bind, seeks to address the notion of alienation stemming from the lack of understanding about gout, that reflects a sympathetic and personal response to the research. Ties That Bind consists of four framed works which layer glass and transparent screen-printed images.

Marion also produced giveaway screenprinted posters which conveyed the message "GOUT IS IN YOUR GENES. Why DON'T we talk about it... why don't WE talk about it." Raising awareness of gout's causes and treatment options is essential to reducing the substantial burden it places on patients, their families, and communities in New Zealand.


He take hauora taumaha te porohau ki Aotearoa. He tokomaha haere te nama o kā tāne Māori me kā tāne o Te Moana-nui-a-Kiwa e whakapākia ana, e ai ki kā kōrero, ko Tāmaki ki te Toka te "tāone matua porohau o te ao". Ka kawe te hāura porohau i te mamae ā-tinana, i te whakahauātaka hoki o kā mate porohau, ā, ka pokea e kā kare ā-roto o te uapare ā-roto, o te whakamā mō te whakatau māuiui porohau, ka whakakahatia anōtia tēnei e te hapori whānui, nā rātou i whakaaro ai, he āhuataka papa kore e hākai ana ki te mahi hūmārika. He mea akitu te kaupapa kātahi o Art and Genetics i te tau 2017 kia mahi tahi rātou ko te hapori i tētahi aka hou, i tētahi aka auaha, ā, ka tohatoha i te karere, he mate ā-ira, ā, ka taea te rokoā.

Ka tautuhi a Tanya Major rātou ko ana kaimahi ki te Merriman Laboratory (Te Tari Mat¯u Koiora) ki te Whare Wānanga o Otago i kā ira tauwhaiti e hākai ana ki te porohau, ā, ka tohatohaina ēnei hua ki kā hāura porohau me te hapori whānui. Ko tā Tanya whāika kia whakamārama, ka pēhea ēnei ira e whakaporohau, ka pēhea hoki kā ira e whakarerekē pea ana i kā tohu māuiui, i kā tauhohe rokoā, ā, ko te whāika matua, kia whakapai i kā koiora o kā tākata porohau.

Ka mahi tahi a Marion Wassenaar, he rikatoi, he pūkeka hoki ki te Dunedin School of Art ki Te Kura Matatini ki Otago, rāua ko Tanya Major mō te kaupapa o Art and Genetics. Ko te mahi toi, Ties That Bind, e hiahia ana ki te whakatika i te mokemoketaka nā te kore whakamāramataka mō te porohau, he aka pūaroha, he kātoitoi matawhaiaro ki te rakahau. E whā kā mahi toi o Ties That Bind e whakapapa ai i ētahi karaehe me ētahi whakaahua pūataata kua tā whataka.

Ka whakaputa hoki a Marion i ētahi pānui whakaahua tā whataka e whakapuaki ana i te karere "GOUT IS IN YOUR GENES. Why DON'T we talk about it... why don't WE talk about it." He tino whakahirahira te whakapiki mōhiotaka o kā pūtake porohau me kā whirika rokoā kia whakaiti i te taumahataka nui ki ruka i kā hāura, i ō rātou whānau, i kā hapori whānui i Aotearoa.

 

Links

HEALTH & WELLBEING MĀORI & INDIGENEITY

April 2018 

Image credit: Marion Wassenaar, used with permission