Sofia Minson: indigenous art on the world stage

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

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

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

“We need aspirational symbols to navigate this strange new world. 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.

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

Explore the themes that inspire

Inspired by the beauty of people, nature and symbols, Sofia paints diverse subjects with a thread of ancestral wisdom running through them.

“Painting awe-inspiring characters is both grounding and uplifting in this fast-paced digital world. I hope their stories and presence can provide a sense of connection for people.”

- 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 a sense of separation from my own heritage and yearned for an identity I could connect with. 

My exploration of Māori mythology through art enabled me to find this connection.”

- Sofia Minson

Achievements

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


Awards:

  • 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

Media

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.

Projects

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.

Exhibitions

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.

Community

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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