Spirit Wrestler Gallery (Vancouver, Canada)

Rise of the Salmon


  • Medium: tōtara
  • Size: 22.5 × 12 × 8 inches
  • Reference Code: K51001

“Mate atu he toa ara mai ra he toa / When a warrior dies another will take his place” relates to the returning salmon swimming up river to spawn and die.

Todd Couper

Todd Couper


Ngāti Kahungunu

(1974- )

Todd attended Te Aute Boys College in Hawkes Bay from 1987 to 1991 and quickly excelled in art. In 1995, he completed the Diploma of Art, Craft and Māori Design at Waiariki Institute of Technology in Rotorua; he majored in woodcarving/sculpture and graduated with honours. It was during this time that he met Roi Toia, who was teaching there. Roi, impressed with his talent, invited Todd to apprentice with him. They continue to work together, but Todd has forged his own style and direction in carving, with commissioned pieces residing in collections in the United States, Canada, Australia and the Netherlands. He participated in Kiwa: Pacific Connections (2003) in Vancouver, Canada.