Spirit Wrestler Gallery (Vancouver, Canada)
Kerry Kapua Thompson

Kerry Kapua Thompson

Māori (Ngāti Paoa)

(1967- )

Kerry has been carving for twenty-two years in many materials and is possibly the leading artist working in bone. Although he attended a diploma course in Māori design at Waiariki Polytechnic in Rotorua and learned from Hepi Maxwell, Rex Christianson and other artists working in the same materials, his style of carving and two-tone staining process are uniquely his own.

In 1992, he was a jade tutor for the Whangaroa Trust in Kaeo, New Zealand, and, with a grant through Te Waka Toi in 1994, became a full-time artist working primarily in jade and bone. He still produces the most ornate “wearable art” in varied media but has recently created larger, more challenging sculptural mask and figurative forms, and inlaid flutes, delicate heru (decorative ceremonial combs) and carved vessels.

His art is contemporary yet incorporates elements of Māori design, such as the koru (unfurling fern frond) and the matau (fish hook), that feature his complex curvilinear forms. His work has been collected and exhibited both in New Zealand and overseas, including in “Kiwa-Pacific Connections” (2003) and “Koru-Spiral of Life” (2004) in Vancouver, Canada.

Artist Contemporaries