The Navigators Exhibition

The Navigators is a cosmic supermarket of gods, goddesses, ancient symbols and mythical lands.

The Navigators artworks were exhibited from 15 February - 2 March 2018 at Artbay Gallery in Queenstown, New Zealand

Māori portraits with facial moko.
Mountainous New Zealand landscapes.
Animals, birds and sacred geometry.
Artbay Gallery will exhibit a dozen new large-scale paintings by Sofia Minson.
 

Artist Sofia Minson with her 3 metre wide painting "Te Waka a Māui" looking out over the Southern Alps

Artist Sofia Minson with her 3 metre wide painting "Te Waka a Māui" looking out over the Southern Alps

White canvases and raw linen backgrounds soak up watery washes of black, ink-like paint.
Black and white images of faces and nature are crowned with ornate golden symbols.

"Horus" 1280 x 1900mm. Flashe (vinyl paint) on linen

"Horus" 1280 x 1900mm. Flashe (vinyl paint) on linen

"I'm making sacred art that integrates our modern human experience with the wisdom of our ancestors. We need aspirational symbols to navigate this strange new world."

- Sofia Minson

"Twelve Heavens" 1230 x 1820mm. Digital design & painted flashe on canvas.

"Twelve Heavens" 1230 x 1820mm. Digital design & painted flashe on canvas.

Ancient Māori, Christian and Egyptian myths are brought to life.
These traditional stories become relevant to our modern-day hero’s journey.

"The Hero's Journey" 1680 x 2380mm. Oil and flashe (vinyl paint) on canvas - Sold

"The Hero's Journey" 1680 x 2380mm. Oil and flashe (vinyl paint) on canvas - Sold

The Auckland artist’s own heritage is a collision of cultures - Ngāti Porou Māori, Swedish, English and Irish.

Minson grew up in New Zealand, Samoa, Sri Lanka and China due to her father’s engineering work.
She became interested in the connections between diverse people, cultures and religions.

Returning home to New Zealand as a teenager, painting the myths, land and people of Aotearoa helped strengthen her link to her Māori roots.

"Wise as Serpents, Harmless as Doves" 1705 x 1230mm.

"Wise as Serpents, Harmless as Doves" 1705 x 1230mm.

"Merkabah" 1280 x 1900mm. Flashe (vinyl paint) on raw linen.

"Merkabah" 1280 x 1900mm. Flashe (vinyl paint) on raw linen.

There are several female portraits.  A thread of Mana Wāhine or The Divine Feminine runs through them.

"Magdalena" 1900 x 1280mm. Flashe & acrylic on raw linen - Sold.

"Magdalena" 1900 x 1280mm. Flashe & acrylic on raw linen - Sold.

"Hine-titama" 1975 x 1350mm. Flashe on canvas.

"Hine-titama" 1975 x 1350mm. Flashe on canvas.

"Heavenly Bodies" 1280 x 1900mm. Flashe (vinyl paint) and acrylic on canvas - Sold

"Heavenly Bodies" 1280 x 1900mm. Flashe (vinyl paint) and acrylic on canvas - Sold

The Navigators series is Minson’s way of:

“finding meaning as we come out of hundreds of years of scientific materialism and enter into a new magical age.”

"Breath of Life" 1230 x 2005mm. Digital design & painted acrylic on canvas.

"Breath of Life" 1230 x 2005mm. Digital design & painted acrylic on canvas.

Minson has used a new technique in five of the paintings, fusing digital and analogue.
She blends ancient and modern processes to create art that is original and relevant.
 
"I have taken hand-painted forms in my work - portraits, birds and animals.
I've digitally placed them in a fresh context so they take on new meaning.
Using technology I've created symmetries and repeating mandala patterns.
Printing them on canvas, I've completed the compositions by hand using acrylic and flashe paints."

"The Moon is Full" 1230 x 1455mm. Digital design & painted acrylic on canvas.

"The Moon is Full" 1230 x 1455mm. Digital design & painted acrylic on canvas.

Minson takes the Joseph Campbell quote “Myths are public dreams and dreams are private myths” into her painting process.
 
“When I finish painting a work I look at it like you would a dream.
I find symbols that have bubbled out of my subconscious and I write stories or ‘myths’ about each painting.

Ancestors and ideas from the past link with the present.
This is how I listen to my Higher Self and it helps me navigate.”

"Terraces of Myth" 1550 x 2080mm. Oil and flashe (vinyl paint) on canvas.

"Terraces of Myth" 1550 x 2080mm. Oil and flashe (vinyl paint) on canvas.

"The Phoenix" diptych - 1230 x 2090mm total. Flashe on canvas.

"The Phoenix" diptych - 1230 x 2090mm total. Flashe on canvas.

"Te Waka a Māui" 1640 x 3060mm. Flashe (vinyl paint) and acrylic on canvas.

"Te Waka a Māui" 1640 x 3060mm. Flashe (vinyl paint) and acrylic on canvas.

"Circling the Square" 1230 x 1820mm. Digital design & hand-painted flashe on canvas.

"Circling the Square" 1230 x 1820mm. Digital design & hand-painted flashe on canvas.

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