Tūi - Original Artwork

Leonie Sharp


Tūi - Manu Māori Series | By Leonie Sharp

Based in Whanganui, Leonie Sharp has created this stunning work of art using feathers which are delicately overlaid and finished in a timber frame.

The Koru is often associated with nurturing so when interlocked with others, it represents the strength and purity of a loving relationship within a family. 

The shape revealed within the two unfolding fern fronds, symbolises bonding within a family or partnership, and the complementary life force which is created when two opposites within an entity, balance each other.  As each frond unfolds to leave the circle, it reaches out for a new life, and new growth, representing the cycle of life.

Manu Māori Series
The importance of birds in the economy & daily life of the pre-European Māori is reflected in various stories, songs, art, recipes, rituals & of course clothing.

Birds such as the Kereru were an abundant & prized food source. Feathers from many different birds adorn the Patu & Taiaha of warriors. They were manipulated to distract their opponent's eyes during battle & force a striking opening. Thousands of birds have been woven into Korowai & live on today in family celebrations. While others marked mana & rank in the hair of chiefs & tohunga.

Birds are integral parts of rituals & may be sacrificed or enable communication with the Gods. Some were viewed as protective spirits & bird fat & skins were used to dress wounds & skin conditions. Tohunga teaches that all elements of the natural world sprang from Rangipotiki & Papatuanuku but after that, the story takes some tribal variations. What we do know is that once they were here in Aotearoa (New Zealand)the peoples were settled here lived with and thrived because of them. Sadly, we have lost some of these treasures over time which is shameful, but I have confidence that as a nation we are now aware of our duty to this planet & The Children of Tane.

My work uses no-protected & introduced species only. I see it as a way for these beautiful creatures to live on & be appreciated in a new context. - Leonie Sharp, 2020


Width - 610mm x Height - 1300mm

Please Note - 

The 'in situ mockup' is merely an example of visual representation within an environment and it does not truly reflect the size of the work. Please refer to the measurements above for the exact dimensions of this print.

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