“Inspiration for this little bird initially posed a problem. I simply could not find a reference to it in my library. The Internet came to the rescue. The Water Ouzel is more popularly known as the American Dipper. This is the only songbird that swims under water. I recall some years back watching a documentary which showed its aquatic prowess when searching for food. Somewhat drab looking in reality I have given it a sculptural treatment.”
The Water Ouzel, also known as the American Dipper, is a small oily bird that is a suburb fisherman and occasionally portrayed in Northwest Coast art. One story is told that the dipper would swim up the rivers gathering salmon eggs. He would then fill his entire house with the eggs. Raven knew that the dipper feared the owl, so Raven imitated the sound of owl until the dipper, shaking with fear, left the house. Raven then entered the house and gorged himself on the eggs. Raven ate so much that he felt ill and needed to see the crow doctor. Raven sent out his sidekick, sea urchin, to find the crow to come and help him.
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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