He huka, he hauhunga

The Book Project

Earlier this year, I visited my two wonderful friends, Mon and Ben, in Palmerston North. While I was there, Mon had a little book and asked me to fill it up with drawings during my stay.  And I did!

I decided to continue with this wonderful idea, and upon returning home I resolved to make this Book Project.  It appealed to the bibliophile in me. This time, I chose a theme and painted a page a day, then photographed it using Instagram.  This enabled me to share it on my Tumblr and Facebook feeds.  Well, that was in mid-January and I finished the book a few weeks ago.  I have just finished putting together a slideshow of all the images I have painted.

The book is all based on karakia, which can mean prayer, incantation or spell, in Te Reo Maori.  While I was studying at the University of Waikato I came across many different types of karakia, and have applied that here. It’s good for me to keep up my reo, a little bit a day helps!

Karakia are meant to help you feel at one with the atua (gods) who are really personifications of the natural forces/elements in the world. It’s about acknowledging the other things in the world about you.  They are good resources of poetry and prose in Te Reo Māori as well.

There are many different karakia inside. Some are to Tane, some are to greet the day, a prayer for children, an incantation for strength, and one for Tangaroa as we bade farewell to summer. Then there is the finishing karakia, right at the very end.  Here are some of my favourite images:

This book project also combined my native language with art, one of my other favourite things.  If you are a creative soul, and you know how difficult staring at a blank page can be, I totally recommend a daily art exercise like this.  Painting or drawing a little each day really helps to warm up and get you started on your other projects.  And it’s a good way to learn some karakia too!

I am planning on creating another book, and that will probably begin sometime next month.

Mauri Ora!