Papa Tawhai pop art portrait

This is a whanau illustration, of my maternal grandfather, Tawhairiri.  He was one of the last cowboys. A real legend, in his grand daughters’ eyes. The first picture is a portrait from 1993, at his last family Christmas with us. Papa Tawhai passed away in 1994. I named my son after him, Tawhairiri. Or Tawhai, for short. While I was growing up, he lived in a converted school house at Bartletts (about 30 km south of Gisborne). His father is buried in the family cemetery there.

This was an experiment in pop art portraiture. Hopefully more Johnny Romeo than Andy Warhol. The colours were inspired by the land and seascapes around Whareongaonga, Tawatapu (Bartletts), Wharerata and Muriwai, all south of Gisborne. For more information about the whenua and moana, please visit Te Iwi o Ngai Tamanuhiri on their website or facebook page.

A framed digital print featured in the tribal exhibition, Toi Tāmanuhiri,  at Te Muriwai Marae in 2013.  It’s shown in one of the photographs, alongside art pieces made by my older brother and sister.

NFS

 

 

 

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!

Kaiti Aki

Nga mihi nunui ki a koutou!

I have recently finished working on the t-shirt designs for the Ka Pai Kaiti Waitangi Day festival. This is a whānau day that has been regularly held for over ten years, in the suburb of Kaiti, which is a part of Turanganui-a-Kiwa. The place where I live and work.

I started donating my time and energy into the t-shirt printing in 2008.  What happens is that every year we come up with an idea/whakaaro to promote where we live. I come up with a design, it gets put on to a screen, then I print the shirts during the festival.  People can bring their own t-shirts along on the day and give a small koha (a one or two dollar coin) to help cover costs.  I got this idea from going to Punkfest in Wellington; nothing like a bit of DIY inspiration!

The whakaaro was to make shirts promoting Kaiti cheap and affordable for whanau (members of the community) who live in the area.  So everyone can wear a Kaiti shirt. Before the weekend we print about 30 shirts for the volunteers who work hard to make the day a success.

This year two shirts were designed. The Kaiti Aki shirt and the K.I.N.G.s shirt. There’s a bunch of photos on Flickr of people wearing them, and you can look at images over the last month of our little Kaiti Aki as it was created on Webstagram.

And of course there are the pictures I have uploaded here.

 

Mauri Ora!

 

 

 

 

All Hallows Eve

 

This is a portrait of Peter Steele (1962 – 2010) from Type O Negative. They are one of my most favourite-est bands ever.  A good friend told me about them in 1995, so I bought ‘Origin of the Feces’, the notorious ‘live’ album.  It was the only one I could find in Auckland! I will be honest and say I didn’t really get the sense of humour at first (“these guys can’t be serious! That sounds like a pretend crowd…”) as I knew nothing about them and hadn’t heard anything else by them.  Then that same friend gave me ‘October Rust’ to listen to in 1996.  And like millions of other goth girls around the world, I was a goner! Sigh, swoon etc.  It was only a matter of time until I got their other albums. And it has all been cheerfully downhill from there.  I never got to see Type O Negative live unfortunately.

Some of my best memories are associated with Type O Negative.  Driving from Auckland to Wellington with a Type O hater in the back, shouting his own version of Black No. 1 lyrics (LOVING YOU WAS LIKE FUCKING A GOTH!) while we giggled in the front. It was funny cos it was true, you see.  There are many many more, I’ll save them for another time.

This is my tribute to Peter Steele and the most excellent music he created.  I wanted to do something special for Halloween, so I have spent the last week of October drawing this portrait and thrashing the Symphony for the Devil live dvd.

Because as we all know, everyday is Halloween.

XII. All Hallows Eve

Fall fires burn ‘neath
black twisted boughs
Sacrifice to above
Smoke swirling quickly
towards misting clouds
Offering of this blood
Into the flames
and without shame
Consumed with howls
and screams
Pumpkins grin
in their despair
On All Hallows Eve

Cruel be the wind
as it quells my words
I shout out to the rain
Incantations I so hoped
you’ve heard
That you live again
From deep Earth
brings forth rebirth
Witness but I shan’t believe
From below a chilling glow
On All Hallows Eve

Be spiderwebbed
and glazed in frost
She wears death beautifully
More stunning now
than in her life
On a bed of Autumn leaves
Into her eyes
and quite surprised
I whispered
don’t you leave
Sing macabre songs
and we’ll dance to dawn
On All Hallows Eve

Saint Lucifer hear me
praying to thee
On this eve of all saints
High be the price
but then nothing is free
My soul I’ll gladly trade

Cold is the night
in so many ways
Luna round, full and bright
Deep be the mud
on the fresh dug graves
On yours I recite
An ancient spell 
I know so well
Success is guaranteed 
I’ll bring you back
from where you’ve gone
On All Hallows Eve

From the album World Coming Down by Type O Negative.  Lyrics by Peter Steele.

 

Texture used in this image by Bitt Box.

BLACK CHROME!

So after my spiel about BLACK it should come as no surprise that one of my favouritest bands ever! is Black Chrome.   And I was lucky enough to design a t-shirt for them.

You can buy one from the band – they are available in red or black. I got the black shirt (shock!) as it has metallic silver ink in the print.  I’ve tried to capture the sparkly print in the detail shots.  The shirts fit really well (I was pleasantly surprised after getting mine as most band shirts are kinda shit), and they are only a meagre $20 each.

If you want a t-shirt you can order them from the band by contacting them at wokeupinthegutter@gmail.com. They have paypal too, if that helps.

Other BC links to check out are their Facebook page and Bandcamp, where you can download some of their older recordings for free.

Many thanks to Sarah-Kate & Li Roadkill for the t-shirt gig photo <3

 

I LIKE TO ROCK

So earlier this year I spied a hand painted rock over at Jo Tito’s site.  I thought it was really mesmerising and the colours were really choice too.  So I asked Jo how much they were and she suggested we trade art.

I like trading art.  Trading is good.

And finally, yes, FINALLY I finished a little something to trade in return.

So, because this site is all about (fist) pumping out the pictures, here’s some of the piece I made and Jo’s Perfect Rock.

They were taken with my phone, using my favourite gadget.  The first one gives a reasonable shot of the shed and all the other things I got going on.

The small collage I made was done using an old frame, clothes dye and varnish.  The collage itself was constructed from some red envelopes I picked up at Wah Lees while in Auckland last.  And the background is filled with Aotearoa 666 stamps and a phrase in te reo Māori.

The last one shows my rock in my hot little hands. I love her! She’s sitting in an eastern pointing window sill, she can catch plenty of sun there in the mornings.

 

Rockin’! 😀