Ra Gossage is a self taught painter of Ngāti Wai & Ngāti Ruahine descent, her paintings are a reflection of her heritage, culture & environment. We are so excited to have Gossage's latest work and we decided we needed to find out a little more about Gossage and her practice as an artist.
You can find her latest work on our online gallery and in our Newmarket & Ponsonby Galleries.
What do you make/art practice?
I create contemporary kowhaiwhai paintings and panels. Kowhaiwhai are maori scroll designs, which are made for decoration and to tell histories and stories.
I freehand draw and create my designs on paper, transfer these onto board, then paint in the colour by hand.
What does a normal day look like for you?
Up early, feeding myself the kids and the animals, drop tamariki to school, after this some form of exercise, usually a walk on the beach. I will then head to my studio, to work until 3pm. Pick up tamariki from school. Dinner and finally dreamland.
How did it all begin?
My late father was an artist, he made kowhaiwhai. I would see drawings in his studio and copy them. When I was little I remember being on marae and just staring for hours at them admiring their beauty and trying to work out how they were made. I have always loved all things kowhaiwhai, it’s in my blood, a gift from my tupuna.
Where do you find inspiration as an artist?
All around!! Other Toi Maori ( Whakairo, tukutuku, taniko, ta moko ) Nature, other art and artists, music, by reading and researching maori topics and stories.
What is the theme/inspiration/stories behind your pieces?
Patterns and elements in Nature, Maori history, stories and Legends.
What do you love most about working and living in Aotearoa?
He tangata, he tangata, he tangata. Whanau and friends, other creatives, our beach community, making connections and spending time with great people.
What is your studio/creative space like?
Really messy most of the time!! My studio was once my childhood bedroom, it’s hardcase I’ve ended up working there. It has a nice view of our whenua and is mahana, cause it’s home. There’s always a steady flow of family coming in and out. One is never lonely….
What drew you to working with The Poi Room?
A friend of mine suggested I take my work there.
Describe your relationship with The Poi Room and how our values fit with your business?
I have enjoyed a wonderful relationship with The Poi Room for many years. Melanie Jane, Clayton and their team are kind, passionate, and professional.
Their dedication to supporting and promoting Toi Maori, New Zealand art, it’s artists and NZ made is admirable. It is a place I am proud to play a part within.
We chatted with Simon to get a bit of an understanding about this exhibition and what made him create the pieces he did.