Recently I took on the adventure of a new painting commission, it was requested by my boss at Westerman Property Solutions. She had seen the transformation of Palmy 31 and the impact my original paintings were having on the atmosphere of the facility. So Yvonne had decided their office at Turangi needed some of our creative input.
Mum and I set off on our way home from visiting Taupo, to investigate this space that needed our attention. The building itself is very contemporary and the other side, where the sales office is, has very impressive interior styling. The Westerman’s office, however, was a little behind in terms of creative design, although it did have great potential, with a colour scheme that included, black, red and silver. We could definitely work with this.
For the longest of time, I have been fascinated with the depiction of the spiritual realm through visual art. It has been some what of a life time obsession with my art and as I had recently found my cultural heritage, I thought this was a great opportunity to be inspired by the Māori creation narrative. I had studied this subject through a Tikanga (customs & protocol) course at Massey Uni last semester. Although there is some debate with the different iwi (tribes) about exact details, there is a general story that is mostly agreed on.
It all starts in the void, the emptiness before the genesis of time, the empty nothing-ness of Te Kore. This darkness, however, is full of possibility, the realm of potential being. Into then, the period of Te Pō, the darkness of becoming and it was during this stage that the Sky-Father Ranginui and the Earth-Mother Papatūānuku, self generated into being.
The Sky-Father Ranginui, looked upon the beauty of the Earth-Mother Papatūānuku and took her to be his wife. Within their loving embrace the forces of creation took form. The Earth wed the Sky and began the love affair to create all of the physical realm through their numerous children.
However, the children of Rangi and Papa were discontent living in the darkness, within the folds of their parents embrace and they desperately sought the light.
They formed a plan to separate their primeval parents and to allow the light into their world. Tumatauenga, the most savage of the brothers, wanted to kill his parents, but the others would not consent and Tāne proposed to separate their parents by pushing Rangi into the distance. All the brothers tried in vain, but it was Tāne-mahuta (the god of the forest), who was successful. He planted his feet firmly on the Earth and with his hands pressed against the Sky, hurled Ranginui far away into the distance.
Forcing them apart, blood flowed from the tearing of their limbs during the course of their separation.
The separation of Ranginui and Papatūānuku ushered in the realm of light, Te Ao Mārama, the light of day. The blood of their separation soaking into the body of the Earth-Mother, creating the sacred red clay.
I love the drama of this story, the visual impact of the love and loss in pursuit of the light. As we look at the dawn of each new day, we see the sky separate from the earth and this picture is an expression of hope.
Each new dawn enables us to embrace new knowledge, to be inspired by the possibilities that await us with every new day.
The Westerman office at Turangi with the new paintings and our beautiful bespoke art cushions to match. We transformed the space into a place of beauty, hospitality and an atmosphere of hope.
I hope you enjoyed the story,