During this uncertain time of the NZ wide Covid-19 lockdown we will be unable to dispatch online orders. You can still place orders online & support our Local Aotearoa Artists. At this stage orders will be shipped as soon as lockdown is over however this is an ever changing situation so we will make sure we keep you updated. Stay Safe // The Poi Room

Atua Wahine

Sofia Minson

Size

Limited Edition Giclee Print

Printed on smooth bright white rag paper 300 gsm matte finish. 

Edition of 95, individually signed and numbered and printed in New Zealand. 

Size 1: measures: 500mm x 805mm.

Size 2: measures: 714mm x 1150mm.

Choose from unframed or paper prints are framed overmatted and in the frame shown.

There will be an additional 10 days delivery for framed prints.

 

Atua Wāhine is the Māori term for goddess. Sofia painted this portrait from her imagination, intending her face to be of indistinct ethnic origin, yet have a strong feeling of indigenous spirituality and kaitiakitanga (guardianship). Native American and Māori cultures were at the forefront of the artist's mind.


In particular the goddess and creator of all living things - Papatūānuku or Earth Mother - was in Sofia's thoughts, but so too was her granddaughter Hinenuitepō or the goddess of the night, who left this earthly realm and travelled to Rarohenga, the home of the spirit, to receive all those who pass from the physical world to the next.


Dame Whina Cooper

Upon finishing the painting an observant viewer noticed the loose resemblance with respected kuia (elder) Dame Whina Cooper, who spent her life fighting for Māori land rights and striving to improve the lot of Māori women. Cooper was even given the title Te Whaea o te Motu ("Mother of the Nation") by her own people. To the artist this similarity wasn't planned but is a very welcomed coincidence, considering the wairua (spirit) of the painting.


Waka huia

The earrings are tapu (sacred) native New Zealand huia feathers. In traditional Māori life the huia's white-tipped black feathers were worn in the hair of high ranking people and were kept in a special carved box called a waka huia.


Moko kauae

Moko kauae or the tattoo on a woman's chin, lips and sometimes forehead, painted here in metallic gold, traditionally contain ancestral messages specific to the wearer, telling the story of their whakapapa (genealogy), family and tribal affiliations, knowledge and social standing. In recent decades there has been a revival in ta moko and many Māori men and women now wear moko as an expression of cultural pride and mana (integrity).


Minson has painted this moko kauae in a very non-traditional way, referencing triangular designs seen in woven tāniko and tukutuku panels in marae (meeting houses) and also in mathematical fractals. Fractals is an area of great fascination for the artist - they are simple formulas that when expressed visually can create infinite patterns that are chaotic yet easily recognisable as natural and harmonious, because we see them in real world forms all the time - for example in mountain ranges, shells and tree branches. When zoomed in on, these patterns are never ending with infinite repeating forms. The artist is struck by this undeniable connection between mathematics, nature and patterns seen in ancient culture and art. In this work the Atua Wāhine wears a moko that is a symbol of her divine, cosmic power.

Related Items

Or 6 weekly interest free payments from $158.33 with what's this?