celebrate a new beginning; commemorate the start of a new journey
Manu (birds) are significant kaitiaki (guardians) for Māori. In this series the carved space is representative of a womb—a protective repository for taonga (precious objects). It’s a play on the concept of a wakahuia—a traditional treasure box which often held prized chiefly huia feathers. Here, the artist makes the bird the storehouse for treasures instead. Place your precious things like pounamu and hei tiki (pendants) in your manu’s protective care.
The Toroa (Albatross) is the lone wanderer or traveller. Its wing bones were prized, used to make the tools and chisels for tā moko and tradition flutes. It is the symbol of the traveller, journey, exploration of new horizons. As the Toroa mates for life, it can also represent loyalty, commitment, and love.
Pākati and haehae are contemporary surface patterns more commonly found in Post-European carvings than their Pre-European predecessors. They are used to decorate and to represent lines of whakapapa and to accentuate the features they adorn. Pākati are the notches, and haehae are the straight or curved lines. They are among the most recognisable whakairo (traditional Māori carving) surface patterns.
This style is a contemporary interpretation of a rich traditional cultural icon. The form and shape, while modern, are achieved through the use of traditional tools and practices. The artist uses chisel and mallet, not sandpaper, to create the smooth surface and clean lines. Each piece is uniquely hand carved.