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Limited edition of 75 signed fine-art prints available on museum archival card. 780mm high x 520mm wide. Unframed prints shipped FREE in NZ, $35 internationally.
Acrylic and flashe painting on canvas Sold, 1200 x 800mm (including frame), 2016
"Kea" are the world's only alpine parrot, and one of the most intelligent birds.
Although they are seen in reasonable numbers in the South Island due to their inquisitive, social nature, they are actually endangered with numbers estimated between 1,000 and 5,000 birds. Their nests are made in holes in the ground so their young are particularly vulnerable to predation by cats, stoats, ferrets and possums.
Sofia was delighted to find out that the kea is related to the forest kākā, the subject of “The Kākā is Calling” which began her native bird series in 2014. Kea are thought to have branched off with their own special characteristics during the last great ice age, by using their unusual powers of curiosity in search for food in a harsh landscape.
Sofia's process for this work started with loose, watery acrylic washes of alpine whites, blues and greens for the body, with metallic gold for an added precious, ornate quality. An ink-like black paint called flashe was used to indicate strong contrasting shadows and to draw the intricate outline of the bird’s feathers, intertwined with subtle Māori koru designs. The substantial wooden frame was chosen to bring out the bird's intelligent character, giving the impression of a traditional human portrait.
Like all of Sofia's native bird and wildlife paintings, she sees the work as a reminder of our role as kaitiaki or guardians of the natural world.
The forest is a living thing
just as I breathe and live.
Every leaf, every tree,
every insect, every bird,
feels and knows this.
When I enter its domain,
I know I enter the House of Tāne.
- From Maori Natural Lore
Sofia Minson Paintings | New Zealand Artwork