I am of Ngati Kahungunu and Ngati Wairoa (tribal heritage). Because of my parent’s encouragement I was inspired to develop a keen interest in tikanga (knowledge of) Maori. Since my teens, I have been actively involved in the visual and performing arts. At 16 years of age, fortune came my way, when I undertook formal training under a tohunga (expert) of Kahungunu and Tuwharetoa descent, Hohepa Tamihana Hapi. I have completed many artworks for both private and public sectors, an important one being the America’s Cup Village in 2001. An opportunity to present designs for Pelaski, using modern materials without compromising the mauri (ethos) of the artforms, is an exciting one, not for myself alone, but for Maori art in general. I consider it my responsibility to perpetuate the mana, wehi, tapu and ihi within these inherited arts. In respect of the Atua (Supreme Creator), “I strive for perfection, never to attain it.”
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