He Rises from the Riverbed


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Limited edition of 75 signed fine-art prints available on museum archival card. 370mm high x 710mm wide. Unframed prints shipped FREE in NZ, $35 internationally.

Oil painting on canvas for sale, 1080 x 1810mm (including frame) 2013. Contact us to inquire about the original.


God of the forest and progenitor of mankind Tāne Mahuta, in the form of a giant, gnarled old kauri tree, rises from a surreal riverbed of boulders along with other elongated kauri, ponga ferns and nikau palms. Pouakai eagles - a native bird with the world’s largest wingspan of over 3 metres that went extinct c.1400 A.D. - soar through the forest acting as guardians. The prehistoric New Zealand forest is bathed in the first glow of Te Aō Mārama or The World of Light, which in Maori creationary tradition came into being after Tāne separated earth and sky. 

Long ago Ranginui (sky father) and Papatūānuku (earth mother) clung together in a close embrace and Tāne was one of 70 sons born into the dark, confined realm between them. Yearning for more air, space and light in which to live, Tāne braced his back against the earth and feet against the sky and pushed, separating his parents. Only in this new world of light could all other living things such as birds, forests and mankind, exist. Tāne went on to fashion the first human; he adorned the heavens, and brought the baskets of knowledge, wisdom and understanding down from the sky to human beings. 

In this work Tāne stands strong, holding up the sky. The trees of the forest are intricately connected to each other via a delicate web of vines, representing visually the Maori belief of whakapapa or genealogy, which not only links people to their ancestors but also to all other living things, and to the earth and the sky, and it traces the universe back to its origins.

Sofia Minson Paintings | New Zealand Artwork

SKU: 62 TAG: Archival paper

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