“Ruru” lifts the veil between separated realms – physical and astral, man and nature, individual and collective. It awakens a yearning to be in relationship with Papatūānuku (Earth Mother).
This artwork marks a shift to a new paradigm - one in which we are remembering our reciprocal connection with the environment and our ability to flourish within the cosmos.
Dismantling a conservative ideology
For centuries, the dominant Western schools of thought projected humanity as the apex of creation, severing the link between man and the natural world – and the individual from collective consciousness.
With this dominant paradigm, individual and community were separated along with our rejection of the divine natural world. Notions of property and private ownership were prioritised as land, water, forests – and the creatures inhabiting them – were valued only for their potential as commercial resources.
This painting explores the dismantling of archaic Cartesian philosophy that separated mankind from the natural world. “Ruru” honours our remembering of those deep ancestral and spiritual connections to the land, mountains, and rivers around us – a reunion of realms.
Recognising our place in nature, and receiving divine wisdom
Ko au te whenua, te whenua ko au – I am the land, the land is me
“Ruru” signals us to recall our inherent connectedness with our surroundings. This painting reminds us that within Māori beliefs, and for many other indigenous peoples around the world, our unity with the land has always been understood.
What we are experiencing today is a shift in our collective consciousness. Global movements towards environmental awareness and sustainability are awakening a recognition of nature not as property or a resource for consumption, but as a living breathing myriad of consciousness that envelops us.
While this shift is being felt all over the world, knowledge of our connection within the land is fundamental to Māori beliefs and knowledge – the natural world is interwoven within one’s whakapapa, or spiritual ancestry.
Ruru, the divine messenger
The powerful owl figure atop Mount Hikurangi is the Ruru, or Morepork. He is our native owl in Aotearoa, recognised in Māori beliefs as a herald communicating between worlds – mortal and spirit, material and sacred.
The Ruru’s confronting stare seems to lift the veil between realms that have been separated – by society or dominant ideology, but also by our own fear of what lies beyond.
As he stares out from the painting, Ruru beckons us to tap into the infinite wisdom of the natural world. By allowing ourselves to be open, and to appreciate our connection to Papatūānuku, we are able to receive lessons and new understandings.
Sri Yantra, the spiritual symbol
The Sri Yantra encompasses the space above and behind the Ruru. An ancient geometric emblem, the gilded Sri Yantra spreads across the canvas, its hypnotic geometry contrasts the softer natural form of the owl’s body.
This symbol, used in ancient practices to activate inner desires with the outside world, reflects our inner yearning to tap into collective consciousness and divine messages.
The Sri Yantra is a manifestation tool, transmitting divine energy and wisdom as we gaze into its powerful pattern. Like the Ruru, the Sri Yantra also conjures a merging of worlds, as unconscious thoughts become conscious actions through meditation and prayer.
The Sri Yantra amplifies and projects the painting’s awakening message out into our space, fusing together two worlds – mankind and nature, conscious and subconscious, mortal and divine wisdom.
Mount Hikurangi, the grounding maunga
Ruru stands proudly atop Mount Hikurangi, establishing a sense of place in the painting. The grounding power of this maunga signals an intrinsic bond to our home within and as part of nature.
It’s this ancestral belonging to the natural world that is echoed through the pepeha; a Māori introduction that grounds one’s ancestral presence with the maunga (mountains) and awa (rivers) around them.
Ngāti Porou would say:
“Ko Hikurangi te maunga, Ko Waiapu te awa, Ko Ngāti Porou te iwi”
“Hikurangi is the mountain, Waiapu is the river, Ngāti Porou are the people”
The maunga in “Ruru” explores this link between people and place, guiding us to connect with the land that we stand upon and to understand the reciprocity of our relationship with the natural world – in all its wisdom and mystery.
Three ancient entities herald a new paradigm
With the Ruru’s message, Hikurangi’s grounding presence, and the Sri Yantra’s energy transmission, this painting honours the rediscovery of our connection to the natural world – to Papatūānuku and the collective consciousness.
“Ruru” is a learning tool, it’s message and meaning evolves alongside our spiritual development. It welcomes us to a new worldview, where a shift in consciousness reveals divine messages and inner truths.