Spirit Wrestler Gallery (Vancouver, Canada)
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Colleen Waata Urlich

Colleen Waata Urlich

Māori (Te Popoto o Ngā Puhi Ki Kaipara)

(1939- )

Largely self-taught, Colleen developed her interest in pottery while completing an art major at Auckland Teachers College. She continued to experiment during the 1970s, encouraged by Alec Musha, one of the first Māori potters. She believes strongly in tradition, decorating with traditional Māori weaving patterns or by adding muka (flax fibre), feathers or shell to her works. For her, “working with clay means working with the body of Mother Earth, she who influences and sustains us physically and spiritually.”

Colleen has long served the community, national art committees and Nga Kaihanga Uku, the national collective of Māori clayworkers. In 2002, she completed her Master of Fine Arts degree with honours in sculpture at Elam, University of Auckland. Her dissertation on the ancient Lapita ceramic legacy to the Pacific contributed to a published paper.

Her work has been exhibited throughout New Zealand and in “Mana Wahine” (1995) in the United States, “Te Atinga” (1997) in Bath, United Kingdom, “Haka” (1997-98) in its British tour, “Sisters/Yakkananna/Kahui Mareikura” (2002) in Adelaide, Australia, and “Fusion: Tradition & Discovery” (1999) and “Kiwa-Pacific Connections” (2003), both held in Vancouver, Canada.

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Spirit Wrestler Gallery

47 Water Street
Vancouver, BC
Canada V6B 1A1

Toll Free: 1-888-669-8813
Phone: 604-669-8813


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3 blocks from Waterfront Station
Between Abbott St. and Carrall St.

Monday to Saturday, open 10-6
Sunday and Holidays, open 12-5