Darcy was raised in Taranaki in the 1950s and his paintings reflect his tribal childhood, the power of his ancestral mountain (Mount Taranaki/Egmont) and the stories he inherited. “The faces in my paintings are a reminder of the great spiritual strength that made us warriors of the land and the sea,” he says. He has painted and drawn for most of his life, selling his first painting when he was nine years old. Darcy has travelled and exhibited extensively since winning a Fulbright Cultural Award in 1984, when he visited the United States to observe contemporary Native and African-American art.
His work is held in public and private collections throughout New Zealand, Australia, the U.S., Canada, Britain, Germany and France. He has held many senior positions and is currently general manager of cultural services for Porirua City in New Zealand. He describes himself as an international indigenous artist. His book Darcy Nicholas: Land of My Ancestors was launched in August 2005 in San Francisco.
Excerpt from Manawa—Pacific Heartbeat, 2005.