Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Inspired by Heritage

I first came upon the beautiful homeware range by Auckland-based Native Agent at Wellington's super-chic Ohtel on Oriental Parade. The Ohtel beds (see above) are covered in Native Agent throws - gorgeous things that reflect both Native Agent's and Ohtel's creative approach to interiors.

I've seen discovered a number of other Native Agent products, including these terrific cushions and I've got to say I think they're producing some of the most beautiful and innovative contemporary Maori products in New Zealand right now. The company was started in 2004 by Elam Art School graduate, Rona Ngahuia Osborne, her partner,Dan and his mother, Lindsay and they now have their headquarters in Kingsland in Auckland. If you click on their website, you can read the interesting family history that gives rise to the company name, Native Agent. But basically, a family ancestor was employed as a Native Agent at the turn of last century - a Native Agent being someone fluent in Maori, who was employed by the Crown to assist Maori in matters of the law. The work that Rona and her team now produce is very much influenced by the chief items of trade from that period - muskets, woollen blankets, hei tiki and feathers. Love it, love it, love it!

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