Spirit Wrestler Gallery (Vancouver, Canada)

Piopio • North Island Piopio


Once occurring abundantly throughout the North Island, the now extinct Piopio was arguably New Zealand’s most melodious song bird.

Related to the bowerbirds of Australia and New Guinea, the Piopio was called the New Zealand Thrush by the early English colonists. It was not however related, belonging to a totally different family. The relatively tame weak flyer and ground feeder, the Piopio was easy prey to mammalian predators introduced to New Zealand in the mid 19th century.

The last confirmed sighting of a Piopio was in 1902, although unconfirmed sightings have been claimed up to 1970. Experts believe extinction occurred in the early 20th century.

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.