You may or may not remember this painting from the previous post about Skulls.
Well, back then this painting was a work in progress. Now it has been finished and sent to it’s new home in Auckland.
The rerenga on the red ribbon reads – He Hono Tangata E Kore E Motu
and is taken from the whakataukī that says:
He hono tangata e kore e motu; ka pā he taura waka e motu.
Nā, ko te tikanga o taua, kāore e taea e ngā hononga te tāngata e whati. Engari ki ō rātou whakaaro. Ko tēnei whakataukī e whakamahi ana ki ngā kōrero e pā ana ki tētahi mārena. Ki a au nei, ko te mea nui e pā ana ki tēnei taonga, ko te kōrero, ko te tikanga rānei. Tērā pea, ko te tūmanako rawe hoki. Ae, ko taua te mea nui e mauria ana e tēnei taonga.
The reo pākehā translation of this proverb is
A human bond cannot be severed, unlike a canoe rope, it cannot be severed.
This speaks about the permanency of marriage and betrothal, the closest western proverb I can think of is ‘the ties that bind’.
These loveskull paintings are absolute joys to paint. Despite my tough, rough n guts exterior (lol) I’m a big softy and love love love! to hear that my friends are shacking up and settling down… Life. I fucking love it.
So the idea and hopes and wishes behind this painting is to wish my two friends all the best for their marriage and a very long, loving and prosperous life. Two skulls pressed together to form a heart, all wrapped in a big red bow. Ta daa!!
Treat me nice, treat me good, treat me like you really should…
So sang Elvis in Wooden Heart. I thought of that song while I was painting this, but the whakataukī I used has an entirely different meaning!
Last year, in my teaching work we were using small A5 sized pieces of ply and drawing on them in pencil. I took this idea a little further when I came home and sketched a picture of a heart (I have a medical model of one at home, a gift from a friend many years ago). I added the ribbon and whakataukī He kokonga ngākau e kore e kitea. This is the last part of the Māori proverb that runs –
He kohonga whare e kitea, he kokonga ngākau e kore e kitea
The corner of a house can be seen, but not a corner of a heart.
Basically I understood this to mean that you can never know someone’s intentions, or what’s truly going on in their heart, or what their motivations are.