Using old patterns in his own way

Maia Gibbs has a collection of artworks in his father Steve Gibbs' exhibition A-hoe! at Tairawhiti Museum

Maia Gibbs has a collection of artworks in his father Steve Gibbs' exhibition A-hoe! at Tairawhiti Museum

TATAI WHAKAPAPA: Former Gisborne artist Maia Gibbs’ work in acrylic and gold leaf on fabriano focuses on “intellectual whakapapa that connects creative people through the process of wananga.”

Picture by Liam Clayton

Works by former Gisborne artist Maia Gibbs feature alongside paintings in his father Steve Gibbs’ A-hoe! exhibition at Tairawhiti Museum.

A-hoe! is based on drawings of patterned waka hoe (canoe paddles) traded on the Endeavour off-shore from Whareongaonga in 1769. Gibbs made painted drawings of 18 of the 22 extant paddle blades housed in museums in Great Britain, Europe and the US. Maia’s small collection of artworks are hung alongside his father’s paintings.

“They’re based around watching my old man working through the process of his PhD and looking at the earliest forms of kowhaiwhai which are painted on the hoe that were traded with Captain Cook,” he says.

“In terms of my work, what I’ve done is look at the patterns and try to use them in my own way and apply them in the media I work in which is tamoko, graphic design and drawing.”

The drawings are based around people he met in Christchurch, and his experiences there, he says.

“I was fortunate enough to meet a lot of people who helped me on my way from a creative standpoint.”

Gibbs moved to the UK late last year to play rugby. Although he has not done a lot of artwork he is picking up his tamoko practice there.

“It’s quite amazing to see how influential tamoko is this side of the world to non-Maori people. It’s been humbling to see how people hold it in such high regard.”

Works by former Gisborne artist Maia Gibbs feature alongside paintings in his father Steve Gibbs’ A-hoe! exhibition at Tairawhiti Museum.

A-hoe! is based on drawings of patterned waka hoe (canoe paddles) traded on the Endeavour off-shore from Whareongaonga in 1769. Gibbs made painted drawings of 18 of the 22 extant paddle blades housed in museums in Great Britain, Europe and the US. Maia’s small collection of artworks are hung alongside his father’s paintings.

“They’re based around watching my old man working through the process of his PhD and looking at the earliest forms of kowhaiwhai which are painted on the hoe that were traded with Captain Cook,” he says.

“In terms of my work, what I’ve done is look at the patterns and try to use them in my own way and apply them in the media I work in which is tamoko, graphic design and drawing.”

The drawings are based around people he met in Christchurch, and his experiences there, he says.

“I was fortunate enough to meet a lot of people who helped me on my way from a creative standpoint.”

Gibbs moved to the UK late last year to play rugby. Although he has not done a lot of artwork he is picking up his tamoko practice there.

“It’s quite amazing to see how influential tamoko is this side of the world to non-Maori people. It’s been humbling to see how people hold it in such high regard.”

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