Spirit Wrestler Gallery (Vancouver, Canada)

Tangi a te Ruru • The Owl Cries


This piece pays tribute to the “Te Māori” exhibition which in 1984 saw a plethora of Māori taonga (treasures) travel abroad to be enjoyed by the western world. The exhibition’s return to New Zealand in 1986 was renamed “Te Hokinga Mai” (The Return Home). The Ruru symbolizes the hereditary role of customary guardianship of taonga Māori and its connection to old world beliefs. This notion is contained within a waiata (song) of the same name which celebrated the event – “Te Hokinga Mai.”

—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.”