Spirit Wrestler Gallery (Vancouver, Canada)

Te Tangi o te Pīpīwharauroa • The Song of the Shining Cuckoo

by


We look at the connection between two cultures and two elements brought together by the simple Pīpīwharauroa, Shining Cuckoo. The Pīpīwharauroa lays its eggs in Aotearoa and returns to Russia for their summer months. The female form pays tribute to Waitaiki, the prominent ancestress of pounamu. A variety of pounamu is named after this well-travelled bird due to its resemblance in colour, bringing together air and water.

—Lewis Gardiner

Lewis Tamihana Gardiner

Lewis Tamihana Gardiner

Māori

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.”