In returning home to New Zealand, I was determined to gain a greater understanding of my Māori heritage and so I enrolled in the Bachelor of Māori Visual Arts at Massey University. It has been an enlightening and challenging journey and I am grateful to be on this adventure. I am learning so much and all my learned knowledge inspires paintings. Here are a few from this series.
This painting starts in the dark black of Te Kore, nothing-ness, the void, a vacuum in nature wherein nothing existed. Into the period of Te Po, when the earth stratum developed spontaneously, personified as a female named Papatuanuku. The Sky was personified as a male, named Ranginui (blues & greens).
The recital of the Po names closes with the mating of Ranginui and Papatuanuku, but the period of darkness did not end, for Earth and Sky lay blended in the close embrace of matrimony for an indefinite period. They mated and the children dwelt in the darkness of their embrace (further shades of iridescent silver, blues and metallic green).
The children of Rangi and Papa did not want to stay in the darkness of their confinement and devised a plan to separate the primeval parents. Pushing them apart, the light of revelation flooded the realm, as Te Ao Marama was ushered in. The blood of separation being represented by the red, followed by the light of day.
The Earth and Sky lay blended in matrimony and children were conceived, who lived within the folds of their close perpetual embrace. The children lived in darkness until they are desperate for the light.
‘Te Kore, the void, the emptiness before the genesis of time. In the beginning there was Te Korekore, the nothingness - a realm of potential being. The darkness was then transformed through the subtleties of a multitude of graduations of night Te Po (the darkness of becoming), then through the incipient planes of ever-increasing light, beyond the dawn, to Te Ao Marama, the world of light’ (Hotere).