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.
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.
"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
Ancient Māori, Christian and Egyptian myths are brought to life.
These traditional stories become relevant to our modern-day hero’s journey.
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.
There are several female portraits. A thread of Mana Wāhine or The Divine Feminine runs through them.
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.”
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."
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.”