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