“A fabulous mythical bird — this work is my own personal interpretation. I hope I have achieved a worthy representation without displeasing more knowledgeable and skilled First Nations artists.”
Thunderbird is a renowned noble bird in Northwest Coast mythology and is linked in stories to all tribal groups. This massive supernatural bird is portrayed as a raptor with a pronounced hooked beak, horned ears, outstretched wings, strong legs and powerful talons. Thunderbird lived high on a mountain peak and possessed wolf-headed lightning snakes under its wings to prey on killer whales. Thunderbird had the ability to lift a killer whale out of the sea and carry it back to its mountain home to feed. It was said that the mighty beat of its wings would create thunder and the sharp flashing eyes would become lightening. It was believed that the Thunderbird completes the circle of life in the natural world by taking killer whales that had no natural enemies.
*Exhibited at “Wrestling with Spirits – A Tribute Exhibition by Māori Artists to Spirit Wrestler Gallery” (January 29 – March 27, 2011) at Hastings City Art Gallery, New Zealand.
Te Rarawa, Ngāti Paoa, Te Ātiawa
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.
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