As our global community enters an unfamiliar and uncertain time, we are feeling a surge of energy and connectedness to our deeper selves, our communities and the earth.
There’s an awakening towards personal courage and healing in the face of this adversity, which can be reflected back to us through art.
We feel this energy resounding through Aotearoa and across the globe at the moment.
“In this transformative time, I feel more connected to you all than ever … we are one. As our ancestors said:
‘He kōpū puta tahi, he taura whiri tātou; whiringa a nuku, whiringa a rangi, tē whatia ē’
‘From one womb, we are a rope woven of many strands; woven on earth, woven in heaven, we will not be parted’”
- Sofia Minson
Now is our time to connect with the collective consciousness, draw a deep breath, and open ourselves to the energies we experience together. Much of Sofia’s artwork draws on the themes we’re experiencing at the moment: courage, community, family, healing, and earth.
Art reflects back to us what we feel and what we need. We can find solace in art in times of trouble. These are the stories that have been speaking to us these past few weeks, and the artworks that resonate with them.
In an uncertain world, we crave feelings of aliveness and vitality. The truth is that we must create these feelings for ourselves, to wrest away from the disempowering voices that cry there is nothing we can do. We can do something: we can have courage.
Sofia’s piece Awaken features a carved figure, a manaia, representing a wise and highly conscious being who urges us to be bold and live our lives with presence and vigour. Manaia are said to be the messengers between the worlds of mortals and spirits, and can be interpreted as angels of Māori mythology. With the angels by our sides, we have the courage to get through this.
Mauri of the Lion celebrates the powerful life force of the lion, which has served as a symbol for mankind through history. Representing strength, brotherhood, courage, community, and intuition, the lion’s mauri is strong and harks to our own innate power. We have the power within us to become fearless like the lion, and live a life of courage.
Through connecting with the higher power, through seeing the strength in ourselves, we have the courage to face whatever comes our way.
While physically distancing from one another, we crave connection with our community more than ever. We are lucky to be living in a time when connection is just a phone call away, no matter where we are in the world — we must make use of this, to replace the spontaneous connections we are missing.
Our community are reaching out to one another, calling to loved ones near and far for support and kinship. Through this we will keep our relationships strong and our souls stronger.
Maui’s Waka Rests On High celebrates community by drawing on the legend of Maui fishing up the North Island of NZ from the ocean. The painting shows Maui’s waka resting atop Mt Hikurangi, the sacred mountain of Ngāti Porou, Sofia’s ancestors. We are all connected to the land and to our ancestors through an unbreakable bond, and now we are all in this waka together.
The painting Blessing the Pharaoh demonstrates how balance is needed to accomplish togetherness. The central figure symbolises the centre of the self, and Horus (left) and Set (right) represent opposing ideals. This piece shows how there is harmony in attuning the light and dark forces of our own nature, and when one side of the balance is missing we lose our state of peace.
Right now, all of us need each other to balance the doubt and insecurity we feel. As one, we find harmony and peace, and can make it through to the other side.
Our global community has been urged to put life on pause for a moment. We’re being given a most precious gift: time to reflect, grow, and allow everyone to heal.
Rose Of The Cross is an other-worldly, cross-cultural Mother Mary goddess figure, filled with compassion and strength. Drawing on symbols from Christian, Māori, and European culture, the goddess figure’s message is transcendent and unifying — culture is merely a language or tool to bring her loving message from a higher consciousness.
The painting Brahman depicts a bull, representing the supreme spirit of Hinduism. In Hindu belief, Brahman is present in every person as the eternal spirit, and is woven into every sound and frequency of our world. We sense this spirit in ourselves when we are totally present, when we choose not to latch onto every passing phenomena and instead choose to just be. Through exploring this spirit within ourselves we have the chance to quell our fears of the future by living just in the now.
As the world slows down, we’re given time to listen to love, and to heal ourselves, our community, and our earth with this powerful light. We can take this respite to repair and revive ourselves so we can reenter the world cleansed and new.
The world is noisy, filled with shouting voices trying to get their point across. But now, with us all in our homes, we are allowing the earth to breathe. Our world is finally able to have a break and restore itself.
Sofia’s work Terraces Of Myth is based on the White Terraces, which once cascaded down a hillside near Rotorua before being destroyed in the eruption of Mt Tarawera in 1886. The deep black of the artwork symbolises Te Kore, the formless void, the unlimited potential for being from which the heavens and the earth emerged.
The fiery colour of the terraces represents Rūaumoko, the god of earthquakes and volcanoes, while also calling on the Greek legend of the phoenix — a bird that dies in chaotic fire, only to rise again from the ash. Our earth lives, and will rise again once this period is over. This is an ending of sorts, and the earth is ready to be reborn when we step back out into it.
Kaitiaki calls on us as guardians and stewards of the land to look after our earth by recognising the kinship we have with the natural world. When we realise the abundance and inclusivity of our mother earth as a living thing, we learn to see the bonds between us and feel the nurturing spirit rise to meet our own. The Kaitiaki Landscape beckons us to explore the light and the dark of our earth, and experience the serenity of a land in balance with man.
Our earth is a living, breathing thing, just as we are. It is not separate from us, but an essential part of our being, our communities, and our lives. We are the honored kaitiaki guardians, watching our world reborn.
We are all in this together
“While the people of Aotearoa have been asked to isolate ourselves physically from one another, I hope we can give ourselves the gift of a deep breath in and out, opening ourselves to giving and receiving on other levels. Here’s to truly caring for ourselves, each other and our earth.”
- Sofia Minson
We are all experiencing this together, everywhere around the world and deep in the earth’s heart. We must have courage, we must open ourselves to our community and whānau, we must take the time to heal, and we will see the earth transform as one.
He waka eke noa, We are all in this together!