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Terraces of Myth

Oil painting on canvas, 1270 x 1800 mm, 2012
Contact us to inquire about the original

Limited edition print available - scroll down and click 'add to cart'

In “Terraces of Myth” the viewer’s eye follows the taurapa (stern post) of an ancient carved waka (canoe) into Minson’s vivid pink scene of the White Terraces, clearly reminiscent of Charles Blomfield’s 19th century paintings. “I have an insatiable compulsion to paint mythical and primordial New Zealand landscapes” says Minson.  “It has something to do with letting your imagination loose in a world that might be familiar yet surreal and magical at the same time.  In every geographical feature here in Aotearoa there are stories and rich histories to be uncovered from the land.”

In the 1880s, the pink and white silica terraces cascaded down the hillside in the thermal Rotorua region and were so spectacular they become known as ‘the eighth wonder of the world’. Eleven days before the terraces were utterly destroyed by the 1886 eruption of Mount Tarawera, a number of people, Maori and European alike, reported a disturbing sight: a ghostly, fully-laden waka being paddled across Lake Tarawera, in the shadow of the mountain.  But everyone knew there was no such war canoe on the lake in living memory. To the Maoris in the village the occurrence had only one meaning. It was an omen of disaster, dire and inevitable. The volcano violently erupted and could be heard as far away as Auckland to the North and Christchurch to the South. Several hours later, the bed of Lake Rotomahana blew out, burying the Maori villages of Moura and Te Ariki under a deep layer of liquid mud, stones and ash, killing 153 people.

In this work Minson was inspired by the history and myths surrounding the terraces, both dark and extraordinarily beautiful.

This painting was part of Minson's September 2012 solo exhibition at Parnell Gallery. Watch this Maori Television feature on the show:

Limited Edition Print

Limited edition of 75 signed prints available on matte paper of museum archival quality called hahnemuhle photo rag 308gsm. Image size is 535 x 758mm surrounded by an unprinted white border.  Shipping is FREE within NZ and $35 everywhere else (prices are NZD).  Unframed print arrives sealed in protective tube or sleeve.

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Sofia Minson Oil Paintings | New Zealand Artwork