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The Navigators

Oil and flashe painting on canvas,
1210 x 1570mm (including frame), 2017
Original painting held in the artist's private collection

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

Early Polynesian navigators had extensive knowledge of the night sky, which meant Māori had a precise understanding of the seasons and their ancestors were able to navigate across the vast expanse of the Pacific Ocean. The majority of Māori astronomical knowledge was lost as the early New Zealand missionaries suppressed any indigenous religion, which included “heavenly” knowledge as well.

The Navigators is a painting that connects us to the mana of our ancestors. It is inspired by what we know about the early history of Māori and Pacific people and also, what we don’t know. “These three waka paddles are all of our ancestors” says Minson, “because we are all navigating life in one way or another. No matter what your whakapapa you should probably thank those people who somehow traversed the globe and overcame terrific hurdles in their own lives so you could be here now. Here we celebrate that our ancestors are a part of us. They have passed down their biology, their mistakes (!) and their wisdom through myths, art and traditions, so that we have been able to develop our own version of society, of scientific inquiry and we have been able to carry the baton forward another generation."

The Navigators brings together nearly 13 years of the artist’s ideas and techniques. For the first decade of Minson’s career she was deep into painting New Zealand landscapes and seascapes with ancient carved waka and “obsessively honing this moody oil painting technique” as she puts it, “which was all about the surreal glow of light, drawing us into the infinite, and the mysterious.” For the last two years Sofia’s work has displayed a playful quality using acrylic and ink paints with highly detailed patterns and symbolism from Maori, Pacific and Asian cultures. She says this painting is particularly significant because “here in this work The Navigators - this is the first time the two 'me’s' have met."

Limited Edition Print

Limited edition of 95 signed prints available on matte paper of museum archival quality called hahnemuhle photo rag 308gsm. Image size is 543mm high x 740mm wide 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