Whakatu; Fred GRAHAM; 1997; 850

Name/Title

Whakatu

About this object

An abstracted sculptural form, which simultaneously references the Māori custom of using an upturned waka (canoe) as a memorial and the form of a Bishop's mitre. These symbols refer to a bicultural history of Nelson, Whakatū.

Maker

Fred GRAHAM

Date Made

1997

Medium and Materials

Kauri, metal and acrylic paint

Subject and Association Keywords

Maori

Subject and Association Keywords

Religion

Subject and Association Keywords

Transport/Boat

Subject and Association Description

The shape of the sculpture has two major references: firstly, a Bishop's mitre and secondly, the Maori custom of using an upturned waka as a grave marker. The former association is emphasised by the cross-shaped cut out in the upper half and relates to the history of The Suter Art Gallery as a memorial to the second Bishop of Nelson, Andrew Burn Suter (1830-1895). The second reference is supported by the thick, horizonal, carved ridges used to hollow out the reverse side, in the manner of Maori waka construction. The colour of the ridge is significant as it represents kokowai, the pigment used by Maori to connote tapu or sacred status. It also references the late 19th century-early 20th century tradition of painting Maori carvings in museums to make them appear more authentic (Hamilton's red).

Credit Line

Purchased in 1997 with the assistance of the Marjorie Stewart Bequest

Object Type

Sculpture

Object number

850

Copyright Licence  

All rights reserved

This object is from
Tags
Boat
Maori
Religion
Transport

Include tags such as place names, people, dates, events and colours. Use commas to separate multiple tags. e.g. Pablo Picasso, Madrid, red, 1930s.

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