Dominion of Pouakai
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Limited edition of 95 signed fine-art prints available on museum archival card. 330mm high x 660mm wide. Unframed prints shipped FREE in NZ, $35 international.
Original painting Sold, 850 x 1800 mm, oil on canvas, 2012
The vivid pink backdrop of “Dominion of Pouakai” is that of the White Terraces, a spectacular feature of our landscape, which was decimated in Lake Tarawera’s 1886 eruption.
The eagle-winged woman has the artist’s face, even down to her freckles, and wears a stripped-back moko kaue (chin tattoo) consisting of just four vertical lines. The cosmic creature was inspired by a fusion of Aotearoa’s most majestic and fearsome bird, the Pouakai eagle, as well as numerous wahine toa (strong women) from Maori myth, especially Papatuanuku earth mother.
Sofia sees Papatuanuku as being the phoenix rising from the ashes after her separation from her celestial lover, Ranginui sky father. In the painful tearing apart of the parents by their strongest son Tāne, life and light streamed into the space between them and plants, animals and humans were created.
Pouakai, also known as haast eagles or hokioi, had the world’s largest wingspan of three metres and went extinct c. 1400 A.D. They inspired fear and awe in beast and man alike, inciting stories of a ‘man eating’ bird known to prey on full-size moa. The surreal scene set forth in this painting contains a message of transformation and power. We witness the spirit of the female warrior, the earth mother, in a process of liberation that follows pain and destruction.As the female creature has her own face, Minson sees this painting as being part of her series of contemporary Maori portraits
This painting was part of Minson's September 2012 solo exhibition at Parnell Gallery. Watch this Maori Television feature on the show:
Sofia Minson Oil Paintings | New Zealand Artwork