Monday, March 9, 2009

Art in the Park

I went into Christchurch Botanic Gardens on Saturday morning to check out the sculpture show Flora and Forma, which presents a number of works by New Zealand sculptors tucked away in various parts of the gardens. I completely fell in love with this beautiful work by contemporary Maori artist, Aaron Te Rangiao.

The Pataka, or storehouse - that little 'hut' on top of a tall pole that Te Rangiao has reinterpreted in the top image above - is central to the exhibit. It is symbolic here as the home of all Maori culture and traditions. Made of mirrored glass on totara poles, these exquisitely crafted pataka hint at visibility and invisibility; they catch the sun and they reflect their surrounds in quite a bewitching way.
All images: Christchurch Botanic Gardens. March 2009. Ajr
Te Rangiao protects the pataka by surrounding it with traditional wooden palisading carved with imagery designed to ward off evil spirits. Aaron Te Rangiao graduated from massey University with a Bachelor of Maori Visual Arts and he has exhibited regularly throughout the country.

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