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

 

 

 

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.