Ao Pouri


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Limited edition of 75 signed fine-art prints available on museum archival card. 550mm high x 550mm wide. Unframed prints shipped FREE in NZ, $35 internationally.

Original painting Sold, oil on canvas, 1200 x 1200mm, 2007


"Ao Pouri” refers to a realm of deep night in creationary Maori mythology. This painting explores the powerful legend of Ranginui (sky father) and Papatuanuku (earth mother). Before our world existed, tradition tells that Ranginui and Papatuanuku clung together in a close, loving embrace. They are depicted in this work as the large grey panels above and below respectively, leaving just a slither of black space between them. This central dark band describes the confined environment between Rangi and Papa in which their divine children were born. In the middle of the work is a manaia bone carving symbolizing the strongest son - Tanemahuta. The manaia is an ancient mythical being with a bird’s head and a human form. It is said to be the messenger between the earthly world of mortals and the domain of the spirits. The original meaning behind the manaia has been the subject of much controversy. As well as being ascribed the attributes of a bird-headed man, it has also been interpreted as a snake, a raft, a seahorse and a lizard. In some accounts of this myth, the children of Rangi and Papa had to “crawl about like lizards” and others were forced to lie on their sides because there was so little room between their parent’s embrace. Tanemahuta, along with many of his brothers yearned for more air, space and light in which to live. Legend holds that in planting his head on the earth and thrusting his feet against the sky, Tane eventually succeeded in separating his parents. Once liberated, the children of Ranginui and Papatuanuku then became the various gods of Aotearoa.

Sofia Minson Paintings | New Zealand Artwork

SKU: 10 TAG: Archival paper

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