Te Pou Tuatahi

Original painting by Sofia Minson and Samapeap Tarr

Oil, acrylic and flashe (ink) on canvas. 1850 x 1850mm.

The creation of this collaborative painting by Sofia Minson and Samapeap Tarr, a graffiti artist of Cambodian and New Zealand heritage, was filmed for the documentary 'Canvassing the Treaty.' The thought provoking art and social experiment follows six New Zealand artists, three Maori and three non-Maori, as they gain deeper insights into the Treaty of Waitangi and create cross-cultural collaborative artworks during one weekend at Te Tii marae in Northland. 

Sofia's oil painting of the central blue carved 'pou' in this artwork represents her Ngati Porou ancestors' waka. The Sanscrit symbol for Om, which is the sound of the universe, is spoken to us from the mouth of the ancestral figure. Surrounding the painting are Peap's black ink designs influenced by Cambodian legends of the Naga snake. Within his patterning are the words "The Treaty is a Tauranga Waka", which means that the Treaty is New Zealand's first immigration document.

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