Spirit Wrestler Gallery (Vancouver, Canada)

Te Timatanga • New Beginnings


  • Medium: tōtara, kauri
  • Size: 5 × 12 × 7 inches
  • Reference Code: K70503

The time of year when “Matariki” (constellation of stars) occurs is symbolic for Māori in that it identifies the beginning of a new year. I relate this concept to the birth of a child that marks the beginning of a precious new life. For this reason, this carving takes the form of a seed. The idea of the vessel is to encapsulate and protect one’s hopes, dreams and aspirations until such time as they will be ignited. The seed form as a whole therefore represents the beginning of a new life, the beginning of a new year; and the beginning of a new journey in the vast and radiant endless cycle of life.

Todd Couper

Todd Couper

Todd Couper


Ngāti Kahungunu

(1974- )

Todd attended Te Aute Boys College in Hawkes Bay from 1987 to 1991 and quickly excelled in art. In 1995, he completed the Diploma of Art, Craft and Māori Design at Waiariki Institute of Technology in Rotorua; he majored in woodcarving/sculpture and graduated with honours. It was during this time that he met Roi Toia, who was teaching there. Roi, impressed with his talent, invited Todd to apprentice with him. They continue to work together, but Todd has forged his own style and direction in carving, with commissioned pieces residing in collections in the United States, Canada, Australia and the Netherlands. He participated in Kiwa: Pacific Connections (2003) in Vancouver, Canada.