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

 

 

 

Tekau

Tekau means Ten in Te Reo Māori.  There are ten brushes in this picture, one is black, with a bright slash of magenta and a blob of faux ink in the right hand corner.  This picture, and the brushes, illustrate my whakapapa (genealogy) on my father’s side.

So, what is this? It’s not a skull, or a pretty rocknroll girl. It’s a brush, this is my brush, this is how I want my brush, one of my favourite tools, to look.  My Māori brush – styled in the form of a taiaha. This is my ultimate weapon of choice.  This drawing was originally done in pen and ink, then developed in Adobe Illustrator.

It featured in the Toi Tāmanuhiri exhibitions in 2013.  There are 4 prints in total. All have sold except one. If you are interested in buying, please contact me.

Nga mihi

Gnosis

Gnosis was a group exhibition featuring work by Mary MacGregor-Reid, Math Kabryn, Melanie Tahata (that’s me!), Joel Bradley, Jared Holland, Abby Helasdottir and Steven Johnson Leyba.
It was held at at Nature: Art + Design, Newton, Auckland, from 18 October to 16 November, 2013.

Gnosis basically means to develop your own mode of deep critical thinking, maybe investing time in some esoteric or occult theories. Anyway, I was invited to be a part of this exhibition, by old friend and fellow Art School Girl of Doom, Mary MacGregor-Reid. I produced 3 large posters for the exhibition. They were all done in the style of the star skulls that I posted about here.  This post is packed with photos, so I’ll stop blithering and get on with it.

The Art

Pics of the prints at home,  hanging in the gallery in Auckland and a glimpse of my artists’ statement. A post about the Goat skull design is here.

The Venue

This is where the Nature gallery was, on St. Benedict’s Street in Newtown. Beautiful Auckland, days like that made me miss you.

The Opening

This is obviously the fun bit. Hanging out with friends, old and new, was really awesome.  Thank you to everyone who came along, Mary for being awesome and Jared at Nature for currating the show.

Goats

That got your attention. Please take a gander at this goat skull design.

The Story

Once upon a morning we went on a whanau walk through the whenua at Tawatapu, to hunt goats. I was armed with my camera!  Anyone who has driven around the Wharerata Ranges knows that there are a fuckton of goats in the forest up there. I love goats.  I could look at photos of them all day. This is probably why I never get much work done. Goats will be the new cats of the internet, mark my words!  And please don’t get me started on cats.

We saw a baby goat skull on the train tracks. It was sad – where was it’s Mum? Where was it’s whanau? What happened? These sorts of questions swirled in my head. Those sorts of questions are also one of the reasons I’d make a crap farmer. So I took a photo to remember the moment.

The Design

The photo forms the basis of this design.  The Aotearoa 666 logo is used as a brush to bring the goat skull out of the darkness. Don’t ask me how the extra face popped up the top there, it just did that. Stuff happens. As Lemmy would say.
This is one of my personal favourites; the photo comes straight out of Tawatapu, also known as Bartletts, where my grandparents lived.

This design featured in the Gnosis exhibition and yes, it’s also available as a t-shirt here.

 

 

 

 

Check out these Love Skulls! Again.

Do you remember the Love Skulls paintings? I wrote about them here.

Well, I vectorised the second painting I did, in Adobe Illustrator.  Flash, aye bay?!?!  Now you can buy prints, iphone covers, laptop covers, and t-shirts from Red Bubble (good if you live in Australia) or Society6 (Stateside).

Here’s a couple of pics showing the old and the new, plus a product mockup of the iPhone on Society6.

Yurp, artist sites, I have been joining them. No doubt plenty of my other stuff will show up here too. Some of them I will only turn into prints (like the gig posters) some of my other stuff will be available as things you use wot to put on your gadgets.

And t-shirts… always the t-shirts!

 

Mauri Ora!

 

 

 

Gizzy’s Little Craft Market

Kia ora!
This Saturday I will be hosting a stall at Gizzy’s Little Craft Market.

That’s Saturday 30th June 2012, 9.30am – 4pm

At the Gisborne Army Hall.

It’s tomorrow! Eeeek!

I’ve got a small selection of things to sell, ranging from paintings, prints, and postcards.  There are even some crafty little items I made.

 

Here’s some photos! Cos we all like looking at photos 🙂

 

 

There’s more stuff posted on my facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/Aotearoa666

 

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!

Competition Time!

Kia ora mai ra!

It’s that time of the year, when I celebrate another year of financial trading. Another year of getting older! And loving it.

Last year I ran a poster competition and two lucky winners each won a signed print. This year, the stakes are higher and I am giving away a hoody or t-shirt from the Print Mighty store. I’ve added 3 new designs; a full colour Kaiti Aki; a skull print design using the star logo; and Rangi the Raptor. Click on the following thumbnails for a good look at these designs:

Now, all you have to do is get your mates to like the Aotearoa 666 page on Facebook, and then post on the wall, saying they were sent by you.  The person who has generated the most likes, wins a garment of their choice!

Make sure they post on the wall, or I won’t know who sent them.

This competition is WORLDWIDE, and not just to those living in Aotearoa (New Zealand).
Because that’s how we ship!

I will announce the winner on May the 23rd.

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!