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Taniwha Takes Wahine


 

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All works printed by the artist on Epson Velvet Fine Art Paper and K3 Archival Inks.

 

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With this work I chose to to create a prequel to "Phantom Rescues Wahine" and use the same 1898 New Zealand stamp, setting the action in Milford Sound Aotearoa and using two well known Maori words this time.


These images are created to emphasize a closer view of language and the nature of culture, myth and esoteric understandings. Taniwha is a word and title that can create division. Everyone will know of a story about Maori wanting a road to be moved or a koha paid out to appease the ire of some old time monstrous character hiding in an elbow of a river or such. I have chosen to use a favourite water monster image of mine from 1940s pulp science fiction. The Taniwha however is painted into the style of the stamp suggesting that it is part of what is, the fabric of life, of culture. The "Wahine" then, is painted in the romantic style of the time, floating in the present, and swept away... Tanewha might in this sense be seen as the Maori version of the Greek siren or a mermaid calling sailors to their destruction on rocks. I am suggesting the mythological nature of these beasts is universal across thousands of years and shows the ever present similarities of Pakeha and Maori rather than the differences...