Spirit Wrestler Gallery (Vancouver, Canada)

Kuaka • Bar-Tailed Godwit


“Travelling an extraordinary distance each year from New Zealand to Alaska and Siberia, the Godwit is arguably the finest marathon flyer in the bird kingdom. With stopovers at various locations including Australia, Papua New Guinea and the Philippines, the Godwit leaves the New Zealand winter to breed in the short summer of the Arctic Circle only to return to New Zealand in the spring to enjoy another summer.

“On arrival in New Zealand the birds are very thin but by the end of summer they have regained weight and energy required for the long return flight north. Congregating on beaches in flocks of thousands, they wait for the right weather conditions and when this occurs, on a signal from a solitary bird they all take flight to fill the sky.

“To the New Zealand Māori, the Kuaka (Godwit) was a spiritual bird. They believed that the birds flying north were returning to Hawaiki, the homeland of the Māori. The souls of the departed also return to Hawaiki and the belief was that the Kuaka were acting as escorts and guardians.”

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.