About Sofia

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Sofia Minson: indigenous art on the world stage

Inspired by her Ngāti Porou Māori, Swedish, English and Irish heritage, Sofia paints striking and sacred art

For Sofia, making art is about connecting our modern human experience with the cosmic wisdom of our ancestors. 

With each brushstroke, Sofia explores powerful themes that are both deeply personal and profoundly universal; of Māori mythology, Mana Wāhine (Divine Feminine), and the mana (integrity) of generations past.

“I weave together archetypal gods and symbols to help us navigate this changing earth. 

Through my art I explore seeds of truth that are common between traditions seemingly spread far and wide across time and space."

- Sofia Minson

A mix of cultures: Sofia’s early life and heritage

Sofia’s work is inspired by her mixed heritage –

Ngāti Porou Māori, Swedish, English and Irish – and her early life spent living in various countries. 

Growing up in Aotearoa, Samoa, Sri Lanka and China, she became interested in the connection between diverse people, cultures and religions.

Sofia's pepeha:

Ko Hikurangi te maunga
Ko Waiapu te awa
Ko Ngāti Porou te iwi
Ko Sofia Minson toku ingoa

Old photograph of Sofia Minson's great grandparents
Great-grandparents John (Irish) + Matire (Māori)

Old photograph of Sofia Minson's grandparents at a marae - Maori meeting house
Grandparents at local marae

Sofia Minson with cave paintings in Sri Lanka
Sofia in Sri Lanka

As featured in

“With red hair and freckles and strong Māori spiritual roots, my whole life has been one of embodying a sovereign sense of who I am. I’ve finally let go of the burden of being labelled. 

Painting has provided a pathway for self-discovery. It’s helped me to integrate Pacific, Eastern and Western cultures into my own model of reality."

- Sofia Minson

Explore the themes that inspire

Inspired by the beauty and symbolism of people, animals and the natural world, Sofia paints diverse subjects with a thread of ancestral wisdom running through them.

“Painting awe-inspiring characters is both grounding and uplifting in this digitised world. I hope their stories and presence can provide people with a sense of connection to a greater expansiveness.”

- Sofia Minson

Indigenous knowledge transforming the earth

A time of great change

As the old system crumbles, Sofia is noticing a global shift in the acknowledgment of indigenous artists, healers, philosophers and communities. "These rising indigenous voices play a vital role as wisdom keepers and wayfarers in a dynamically changing world."

Ancient sacred knowledge for a new generation

We find ourselves in a unique moment in history where many of us around the world, from the East to the West and everywhere in-between, are re-educating ourselves out of the colonial way of thinking that swept the globe for the last few hundred years. We are seeking a new relationship with once widely held sacred knowledge of how to live in harmony with our bodies and the earth.

In the form of gods, goddesses and sacred geometry, Sofia's paintings infuse ancient wisdom from Western Esotericism, Hermeticism, Gnosticism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Kemetic (Egyptian) tradition as well as indigenous Māori culture, to name a few influences. 

"Many of us are going through a de-colonisation and re-education process, incorporating a (thankfully) still living thread of indigenous lifeways that takes us beyond the false polarisation of religious faith vs reductive scientific materialism."

No return to normal

Humanity’s values are shifting since 2020 as fears, vulnerabilities, grief, trauma and corruption have been revealed.  

However a new space has also opened up for us to ask ourselves a question: “With the old version of ‘normal’ gone, who can we now become?”

And "Can we make space for the unknown?"

Restoration of communion with earth

"I ask myself this question daily and I have re-prioritised being in communion with the earth. I embrace wellbeing that integrates body, mind, spirit and relationships. 

Nowadays, when I’m not in the studio painting, I make time to go out in the sunshine, barefoot on the earth. My hands are in the soil tending to my small but flourishing, organic food forest."

- Sofia Minson

"As Māori, we know the land is our living ancestor. Many of my works feature cosmological atua (gods) such as Ranginui (sky father) and Papatūānuku (earth mother)."

- Sofia Minson

The latest from Sofia Minson

“Having spent much of my childhood and teenage years travelling overseas and living amongst diverse cultures, I felt separated from my own heritage and yearned for a sense of 'home' that I could connect with. 

Exploring Māori myths and cosmology through my art has enabled me to find this connection within my own wairua, within my own sprit.”

- Sofia Minson


Started painting career in 2003

Having spent decades cultivating her artistic journey, Sofia’s work has been celebrated through various awards and recognitions.


  • Winner of Molly Morpeth Canaday Art Award

  • People’s Choice Winner, Adam Portraiture Awards

  • First prize winner at ART Auckland Awards

Her powerful compositions feature in public art galleries and destinations:

  • Te Papa

  • Pataka Museum 

  • New Zealand Portrait Gallery

  • International collections in Italy, New York and Turkey

She features in the documentaries:

  • Canvassing the Treaty

  • We Are Kiwi Like Our Art

  • Kete Aronui


Sofia’s work has been featured in TV programmes, radio, videos, articles and books. She appeared on the front cover of Idealog magazine and has been featured in three documentaries. 

For media enquiries, get in touch.


Sofia loves to immerse herself in a new project that’s outside the box, whether it’s collaborating with other artists, painting at a live jazz event or getting out the scaffolding to paint a lifelike portrait on 12m shipping container.


Sofia’s 2017 solo exhibition Sacred Mirrors and 2018 show The Navigators enchanted audiences in Auckland and Queenstown, with their mythical portraits and powerful New Zealand landscapes.

Sofia has also participated in several group and joint shows in Aotearoa, Italy and New York.


Sofia works with community and wildlife charities through artwork donations. She painted a motorbike for Mike King’s I AM HOPE youth suicide prevention auction. She painted a 1m high egg sculpture for Starship. She has collaborated with Orakei School pupils and children with autism for "Art for Autism" and even shaved her head to raise funds for leukemia research.

Sofia's artwork

Sofia's artwork is available in a number of different mediums. From originals, to large canvas, to limited edition prints, discover the pieces that speak to you.

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