Spirit Wrestler Gallery (Vancouver, Canada)

Tūī • New Zealand Tui


The Spirit Wrestler Gallery presents The Birds of Tāne Charity Auction supported by Master Artist Rex Homan and the Burrowing Owl Estate Winery to benefit the Whenuakite Kiwi Care and Wingspan organizations in New Zealand and The Burrowing Owl Conservation Society of BC in British Columbia, Canada.

A major goal of The Birds of Tāne exhibition is to bring awareness of the plight of birds around the world. The gallery with Rex Homan is very pleased to contribute one of the sculptures from this extraordinary exhibition to the auction. Rex Homan has chosen his sculpture of the Tui bird which is fittingly known as the orator or speechmaker to the Māori. In this exhibition the Tui is to be the voice of all birds communicating the importance of protecting the birds of the world.

The Tui is a nectar eating forest bird exclusive to New Zealand and was named by New Zealand’s first human inhabitants, the Māori. Many years later when English settlers arrived in New Zealand they called it the “Parson Bird” on account of its white double throat tuft and lacy collar of white feathers contrasting with the rest of its dark iridescent plumage. Possessing an extraordinary voice, the Tui was a popular cage bird with the Māori and with its ability to mimic could be trained to recite as many as forty to fifty words.

A little bit about the charities…

  • Whenuakite Kiwi Care is managed by the Bank of New Zealand Kiwi Recovery Trust as part of its role in raising awareness about kiwi, the threats the species face and what is being done through Bank of New Zealand Kiwi Recovery to ensure their ongoing survival on mainland New Zealand.
  • Wingspan Birds of Prey Trust is dependant on donations, sponsorship and grants for the raptor program, and has the approval of the New Zealand Department of Conservation to care for sick, injured and orphaned raptors. This includes research into their habits and habitat, captive breeding, public awareness and the rehabilitation of raptors back into the wild.
  • The Burrowing Owl Conservation Society of BC operates one active captive breeding facility in Port Kells, BC; is associated with a second at the BC Wildlife Park in Kamloops; and has a third under development north of Oliver, BC. All of the release areas for captive-bred burrowing owls in BC are currently located north of Merritt in the Nicola Valley up to and including the grasslands around Kamloops.

100% of the proceeds to benefit all three charities.

Rex Homan

Rex Homan


Te Rarawa, Ngāti Paoa, Te Ātiawa

(1940- )

Rex Homan was born 1940 in Thames, New Zealand of Māori, Irish and Scottish ancestry. He lived in Auckland in his early years before moving to the Bay of Plenty. Rex has earned international recognition as a wood sculptor in the 1960s and 1970s and began working in bronze in the 1980s. His current work is influenced by the culture of the Pacific and displays uniqueness in its diversity of form and dramatic flow of lines. Rex has exhibited in solo, group and jury shows. He has won several national awards for “National Wood Skills” and is represented in corporate and private collections worldwide.