WHO IS HIKURANGI EDWARDS?
WHAT IS YOUR ART PRACTICE?
I hand carve Māori designs into several layers of paint, using a technique I call mahi whakairo peita or paint carving.
WHAT DOES A NORMAL DAY LOOK LIKE FOR YOU?
I like to break my day into three sections, breakfast, lunch & dinner which coincides nicely with the number of layers I try to get down each day. With Te Raukura (1) in tow, our day is more or less the same, layering paint, preparing kai, housework, playtime, research & anything I can get done on the computer while he tugs at my arm to play some more. When he naps, you’ll usually find me at the computer working away. At night when the tamariki (children) have gone to bed, I carve. I love getting to the end of the night & seeing the finished piece or the progress I’ve made.
HOW DID IT ALL BEGIN - WHERE DID THE PASSION FOR THE ARTS COME FROM?
I’ve always been creative, I remember drawing with flowers as a six-year-old with my cousin, Jazmyn. Her Dad was an artist & painted murals around town. I always thought they were amazing, & I wanted to be like them.
In my teens, I had a passion for painting with oils & pastels. Then in my twenties, I dived into textiles & spent a lot of time sewing & knitting with my beautiful friend Awanui. I’ve been lucky to be surrounded by talented artists all my life from designers, painters, traditional carvers, weavers, kaihaka & more. I’m pretty sure Mum was trying to lure me into raranga (weaving), I’m just happy helping her four-plait when I can.
WHERE DO YOU FIND INSPIRATION AS AN ARTIST?
My Māori culture inspires me. My tīpuna (ancestors) are always close by guiding me in my work.
WHAT IS THE THEMES/INSPIRATIONS BEHIND YOUR ARTWORKS?
When I started carving, it was like the floodgates had opened with so many stories bursting to be told, this was evident in my different carving styles & the different patterns. Each piece though is as it’s meant to be & those that have found a forever home, I know are in the right place.
Recently, my work has been a lot more focused in style & theme. I’m currently being drawn to tell the lesser-known stories of our culture, be it historical or mythological. The ‘paretao’ – herringbone & ‘ngā mata o te marama’ – lunar phases series are examples of this.
WHAT TYPE OF COFFEE DO YOU DRINK - LONG BLACK, FLATE WHITE OR ARE YOU A HERBAL TEA DRINKER?
Kenya Bold tea with milk or peppermint tea for me.
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT WORKING & LIVING IN AOTEAROA?
I’ve only ever lived in Aotearoa. It is home and my whānau are here. What I love most is that here I can immerse myself in my culture which drives my creativity.
WHAT IS YOUR STUDIO/CREATIVE SPACE LIKE?
I’m lucky enough to have a home studio which opens out to the sunroom for flow over space when I’m working on bigger pieces. I also commandeer the dining room table so that I can be close to my whānau in the evenings.
WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE YOUR LEGACY/LASTING IMPRESSION TO BE AS AN ARTIST?
I want to create my own artistic language. Whenever someone sees my work, they will know it’s mine. I want each piece to reflect my culture, to invoke feeling and to draw people in so that they too see something meaningful to them.
WHAT DREW YOU TO WORKING WITH THE POI ROOM?
My sister lives around the corner from the Ponsonby gallery, she has some stunning pieces from The Poi Room. When I started carving, my heart was set on one day working with them. I was so grateful when the opportunity came (thanks Paps!) & I haven’t looked back since. Melanie-Jane, Clayton, Meg & crew really make you feel part of the team. I love when they drop me a message! It’s such a privilege & I pinch myself every time I see my works alongside other amazing ringatoi (artists).