Spirit Wrestler Gallery (Vancouver, Canada)

The Face of Matariki


“This portrait represents the constellation of seven stars that appear in the sky during the time of Matariki, the Māori New Year. People would be greeted by these seven stars that represent Matariki and her six daughters. Matariki is a sign to our people that one annual cycle had ended and another is to begin. It is a time of celebration, a time of food gathering and storage for the following year, songs were sung, cooked food and offerings were made to ensure a successful harvest, many would pray for those who had moved on, as well as giving thanks for the blessings of new life. Matariki is depicted here as a flower with each of the six petals as a daughter showing life in abundance. The forest is symbolized in the feathers, the design in the hair is the land and harvest, and the shark tooth ear pendants are the sea. The star in the flower form with facial tattoos and feathers reflect the relationship between universe, sky, earth and us.”

Victor Lee Ta Paa

Victor Lee Te Paa

Victor Lee Te Paa


Ngā Puhi, Tūwharetoa, Tongan

(1975- )

“Art is my voice, it allows me to speak and express myself in ways that sometimes words cannot.”