Over Demons and Seas


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Limited edition of 75 signed fine-art prints available on museum archival card. 153mm high x 550mm wide. Unframed prints shipped FREE in NZ, $49 internationally.

Original painting Sold, oil on canvas, 500 x 1800mm, 2006


“Over Demons and Seas” portrays an eerie yet dynamic environment based on the ancient legend of Kupe, the great Polynesian navigator.

Kupe is said to have journeyed from Hawaiiki, the mythical ancestral homeland of the Maori, to become the first person to discover Aotearoa (New Zealand).

The word ‘Demons’ in the title of this work reflects both a physical, monstorous demon from the old legend as well as Kupe’s own corrupt actions, which caused him to flee Hawaiiki.

Before the great voyage began, Kupe who was already married, also desired his cousin’s wife intensely. When out fishing one day, Kupe ordered his cousin Hoturapa to dive down and free the tangled fishing line. Kupe then cut the anchor rope from the waka (canoe) and rowed furiously back to shore, leaving his cousin to drown. By killing Hoturapa, Kupe had planned to take his wife. However the circumstances surrounding his death at sea caused Hoturapa’s family to be suspicious of Kupe. To escape vengeance, Kupe and his family left Hawaiiki in the waka called Matahorua and embarked on the infamous journey to Aotearoa. When Kupe and his crew sailed along the coast of the newly discovered land they mistakenly disturbed a giant octopus. A battle ensued between the powerful, enraged sea monster and the unassuming waka but due to Kupe’s ingenuity they managed to defeat their formidable opponent.

The water spouts, the wind and the flight of the native birds in this painting are intended to evoke an unsettled energy that mirrors that of the voyage. The Kotuku (White Heron), which is symbolic of peace and good fortune in Maori culture, as well as the stillness of the solitary waka suggest the overcoming of obstacles, the calm after the storm and the final reaching of a destination.

Sofia Minson Paintings | New Zealand Artwork

SKU: 127 TAG: Regular archival paper

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