GBHS visual art and whakairo exhibition

TUMATAUENGA: Tairawhiti Services Academy student Ngametua Cummings’ dark carving invokes in the viewer both the galvanic force of the Maori god of war and pathos. Dedicated to men who served with the Maori Battalion, the work was characterised by a striking pattern of ridged, curving veins called pakatu. The pakatu design represented everything the men went through Ngametua said — “The bloodshed, the coming home and the ones who didn’t.” The red, poppy-like circles of the figure’s eyes acknowledge those who lived with post traumatic stress syndrome (PTSS) on their return while the manaia-like forms in the figure’s legs represent the men standing side-by-side, Ngametua said. All pictures by Mark Peters
HORS DU PACIFIQUE: Maui and the stingray on his line explode out of the square as the Maori deity hooks the North Island out of the sea in Sacha De Wancker’s part carving, part assemblage. From France, Sacha knew nothing about whakairo before he joined matua Kahurangi Faloa’s classes at Boys’ High last year. “It was hard to start with then I got to really like it,” he said. “Mr Faloa helped me. I did the first sketches and he helped me with the traditional pattern and the meaning of the details.” Inspired by the work of artist, heritage advocate and teacher Cliff Whiting, the work has a lot of colour in it, Sacha said.
LONG LIFE: At the centre of whakairo student Jiaxi Du’s celebration of life is a mask based on a face seen on a Hong Kong banknote. One side of the face is white while the other is stylised. Calligraphic characters that stand for “long-life” and “blessings” are painted on either side of the mask. Like Sacha, Jiaxi blended Maori motifs with his imagery.
NEW BEGINNINGS: The elongated kowhaiwhai pattern with glimpses of red-eyed manaia in Henry Nom’s carved panel is about new beginnings. “It’s about how you came through the previous year and come into the new one,” said the Year 13 student. The manaia are those ancestors who watch over you, he said. The double-headed koru form is a hammerhead shark and represents pushing through trials.

A small selection of works from last week’s multi-cultural showcase of Gisborne Boys’ High School students’ visual art and whakairo.

A small selection of works from last week’s multi-cultural showcase of Gisborne Boys’ High School students’ visual art and whakairo.

Your email address will not be published. Comments will display after being approved by a staff member. Comments may be edited for clarity.

Poll

  • Voting please wait...
    Your vote has been cast. Reloading page...
    Are you worried that too much farmland will be converted to forestry due to the Government's climate change policies?