Six Original Paintings by Sofia for only $300 each at Parnell Gallery

Parnell Gallery's Christmas Exhibition from Saturday 30th November until Monday 2nd December features small and affordable artworks by many of their artists.


All six of my new, original paintings are 300 x 300mm, acrylic on loose canvas and available for $300 each.

Threads to our Ancestors

Original painting acrylic and flashe on canvas
300 x 300mm, 2013

This work is an adaptation of C.F. Goldie's 1902 portrait of Ena Te Papatahi. Sofia's idea behind the radial lines is that they are threads reaching into the past to our ancestors from countless generations until the instant of creation and far into the future. They symbolize the traditional M?ori notion of 'The Rope of Mankind' or 'Te Here Tangata'. In Minson's opinion C.F. Goldie's recordings of Maori through portraiture in the 19th and 20th century has helped strengthened our generation's memories and connections to the ancestors of Aotearoa and has thereby strengthened the rope or thread of mankind. 

Nga Huia

Original painting acrylic and flashe on canvas
300 x 300mm, 2013

In traditional Maori life the huia’s white-tipped black feathers were worn by people of high rank and were kept in a special carved box called a waka huia.

Huia went extinct in the early 20th century due to rampant overhunting to procure huia skins for mounted specimens, which were in worldwide demand by museums and wealthy private collectors, as well for their feathers for traditional Maori headdresses. The second major cause of extinction was the widespread deforestation of the lowlands of the North Island by European settlers to create pasture for agriculture.

Most Huia had black plumage with a green metallic tinge and distinctive rounded bright orange wattles at the gape. This artwork by Minson, adapted from a painting by J.G. Keulemanssome, depicts a male and also a very rare albinistic female.

The beak of the male was short and robust, very similar to that of the closely related saddleback, while the female's beak was finer, longer at around 10 cm, and curved downward like that of a hummingbird or honeyeater. 

Tane Mahuta

Original painting acrylic and flashe on paper
300 x 300mm, 2013

God of the forest and progenitor of mankind Tane Mahuta stands strong in this prehistoric New Zealand forest in the form of a giant, gnarled old kauri tree. Kauri can attain heights of 40 to 50 metres and trunk diameters of over 5 metres. They can live longer than 600 years and many kauri probably exceed 1000 years. There is even some evidence that they can exceed 2000 years in age.

Pouakai eagles fly through the forest acting as guardians. They were a native bird with the world’s largest wingspan of over 3 metres that went extinct c.1400 A.D.

Long ago Ranginui (sky father) and Papatuanuku (earth mother) clung together in a close embrace and T?ne was one of 70 sons born into the dark, confined realm between them. Yearning for more air, space and light in which to live, Tane braced his back against the earth and feet against the sky and pushed, separating his parents. Only in this new world of light could all other living things such as birds, forests and mankind, exist. Tane went on to fashion the first human; he adorned the heavens, and brought the baskets of knowledge, wisdom and understanding down from the sky to human beings.

Guardian I, II and III

Original paintings acrylic and flashe on canvas
300 x 300mm, 2013

Sofia's fascination with humpback whales stems from her love of diving and her research into the role of whales as 'guardians', known to Maori as 'kaitiaki', of mankind. 'Kaitiakitanga' is the stewardship or protection of the vital life force (mauri) of all entities animate and inanimate within the whakapapa (genealogy) of the natural world.

Some believe that whales have mass consciousness, not individual consciousnesses like man does. That means, if something happens to one whale, it is somehow known to the rest. Others hold that the deeply peaceful presence emanating from whales, which is palpable to divers fortunate enough to experience close contact, as well as the sacrifice that whales make in beaching themselves, are in order to raise the vibration and compassion of humankind.

Kaitiaki also can mean 'guide' and many traditions mention that whales accompanied or guided the canoes on their journeys to Aotearoa. Tohunga (expert practitioners) responsible for navigation exercised their powers during storms, appealing to sea creatures to escort the canoes and shield them from the fury of a storm.

If whales have been guides and guardians to our ancestors journeying to Aotearoa over the centuries then let it be mankind's turn to now act as kaitiaki of the natural world.

Visit Parnell Gallery Sat 30 Nov - Mon 2 Dec
Open seven days: Mon-Fri 9:30am-5:30pm; Sat 10am-4pm; Sun 11am-4pm
Email: art@parnellgallery.co.nz
Phone: 09 377 3133
Address: 263 Parnell Road, Parnell, Auckland, New Zealand

Posted by artist Sofia Minson from NewZealandArtwork.com
New Zealand Maori portrait and landscape oil paintings


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