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Western 'Paradigms'


My paintings can be broadly placed in 4 categories.

Figurative I have always enjoyed drawing the human form & good draughtsmanship is something that I have sought to under-gird in even my abstract paintings. In my younger days I 'drank deeply' from such figurative masters as Leonardo, Picasso, Munche, Degas, Van Gogh, Hockney & others. Echoes of their 'process' can occasionally be seen in my own work. My use of the naked figure is metaphorical, investigating such themes as: vulnerability, transparency & honesty.


Kowhaiwhai Paintings are the curvilinear patterns found on Meeting Houses rafters and important implements. These patterns were derived from the growth fronds of plants, and other organic forms. Their repeated forms indicated ‘generations’ and were used to mnemonically connect the gathered 'present' rural communities with their eponymous ancestors. Kowhaiwhai painting began to emerge in my own work quite unintentionally after reconnections to my fathers heritage through a pakeha Priest (Rev Bill Heald) in London of all places. These oils, watercolours & Indian ink drawings are playful discoveries of my own Nga Puhi - puhoro kowhaiwhai tradition.


Word Paintings Ever since first missionary contact times with Europeans, Maori have used words in Meeting House: Carvings, Tukutuku, Kowhaiwhai designs etc... More recent artists such as Mc Cahon, Hotere and others are part of that ongoing lineage of an already well established cultural intercourse between Maori and Pakeha (European) art traditions for well over 180 years. My word paintings are songs, poems, meditations or letters I have written.


Landscape Paintings These are mostly 'wet on wet' large scale watercolours on stretched cotton rag paper. (although I have recently been working in transparent oils on board as well.) I have reduced my colours to 3 pigments (burnt Sienna, raw Sienna, prussian Blue) as my basic primaries. The settings chosen are magical interpretations of parks, forests, rivers and ocean ‘scapes where I have reflected in prayer at the dawn sunrise.


"Faith" - Monumental glazed watercolour on paper 25 feet by 6 feet high. (6.5m x 2.00m)