Spirit Wrestler Gallery (Vancouver, Canada)

Te Amo • The Clearing of the Path


  • Medium: pounamu (New Zealand jade), pāua (New Zealand abalone), ivory, pounamu base
  • Size: 6 × 6.5 × 3.5 inches (incl. base)
  • Reference Code: KL140706

We acknowledge the feats of the Polynesian ancestor Māui, to whom many of our acquired knowledge systems are attributed. Māui created a link between the realms of those deified and the world of enlightenment – Te Ao Mārama. Tiki are the customary forms used to engage the process of acquiring celestial and internal knowledge, hence the duplicity of this form’s meaning.

—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.”