From The Darkness - Te Pō
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Limited edition of 75 signed fine-art prints available on museum archival card. 550mm high x 476mm wide. Unframed prints shipped FREE in NZ, $49 internationally.
Original Painting Sold, acrylic & flashe on loose canvas with woven flax and feathers, 1040 x 900mm , 2014
Many cultures are represented in this work, as they are in much of Sofia’s life and art. Unfolding from the darkness is an English rose painted in loose, watery washes of acrylic paint, surrounded by intricate patterns of Eastern and Maori origin. A border of woven flax and feathers allude to korowai (traditional Maori feather cloaks) and whariki (large flax mats). The canvas hangs loosely, reminding us of Pacific tapa cloth. The mandala design encircling the rose creates a sacred space in this artwork. A mandala is a spiritual and ritual symbol in Hinduism and Buddhism, representing the Universe.
The rose as well as the koru and double spiral patterns that feature in this work, are all symbols of creation, unfurling and growth. A 2009 article by Les R. Tumoana Williams and Manuka Henare entitled “The double spiral and ways of knowing” says that the spiral is a powerful reference for the Māori world, symbolizing “the unfolding of the cosmos from a core where there is neither space nor time. The source and flow of life-energy embraces the source and flow of knowledge; they reverberate through the universe and give purpose and meaning to all things. The dynamic cycles of life, growth, decay, death and rebirth are pervasive at all levels.”
In the Maori view of creation, Te Kore, the void, came first. Te Kore is a state of chaos, pregnant with possibilities yet formless and intangible, which has always existed and which contains “unlimited potential for being”. Some believe that Te Kore is where the ultimate reality can be found. Others think that it is where Io, the Supreme Being, dwells. The unfolding of the universe can be imagined as a birth, beginning with conception and the development of growth, thought, memory and consciousness. In this birth analogy, Te Pō is the next phase; it is aeons in the womb; it is the long night.
The title of this piece “From The Darkness -Te Pō” refers to an unfolding of life, just like the rose with its light and colour opening-up from the black canvas. Out of Te Pō comes the wind of life and finally a burst of life into Te Ao Mārama (the material world of light) where we all live. Tihei Mauri Ora! is the well-known call that celebrates that bursting forth of life.
Sofia Minson Paintings | New Zealand Artwork