Spirit Wrestler Gallery (Vancouver, Canada)

Te Arawa • The Cleared Path


  • Medium: pounamu (New Zealand jade), parāoa (whalebone), muka (New Zealand flax fibre), pounamu base
  • Size: 18 × 8.5 × 5 inches (incl. base)
  • Reference Code: KL140703

This form looks at the collaboration of two traditional forms, from two separate continents, joined by the same expansive bridge – Te Moananui A Kiwa (The Pacific Ocean). The body is done in a more literal style of shark form, while the head acknowledges the celebrated skill of traditional Northwest Coast mask sculptors. The whalebone head which sits atop the body of the form looks at the continual connectivity between both lands and its artists, like that of the customary migration of Tohorā (Southern Right Whale), Pakake (Minke Whale) and other whales.

—Lewis Gardiner

Lewis Tamihana Gardiner

Lewis Tamihana Gardiner


Te Arawa, Ngāti Awa, Whanau a Apanui, Ngāi Tahu

(1972- )

Lewis Gardiner is regarded as one of the most innovative and respected Māori jade artists of his generation. In 1994, he graduated in Māori Craft and Design at the Waiariki Institute of Technology in Rotorua. During his final year he was introduced to the valuable medium of pounamu (jade) and was immediately attracted to its artistic possibilities. Māori had always valued pounamu for both its hardness and for its translucent beauty. Lewis was no different — as he says, “Our tupuna (ancestors) have given us, the Māori people, the resource and knowledge base to provide a reference for us and our children for years to come.”