Shona Rapira-Davies graduated from Otago Polytechnic with a Diploma of Fine Art in 1983, and in 1989 was the Frances Hodgkins Fellow at the University of Otago. Her work uses personal and familial histories to confront wider political concerns, including discussions about our colonial past. Text is often used to express these narratives.
In 1988, Rapira-Davies’ *Nga Morehu* was shown in a two-woman exhibition, also featuring the work of Robyn Kahukiwa, at City Gallery Wellington. From 1988 to 1992, she designed and completed *Te Waimapihi* in Wellington. Around 30,000 hand-made ceramic tiles create a landscaped environment that recalls the site’s history as a pā (fortified village). Rapira-Davies has since continued to use the natural landscape to address local histories, Māori cosmologies and personal relationships.