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Limited edition of 75 signed fine-art prints available on museum archival card. 700mm high x 700mm wide. Unframed prints shipped FREE in NZ, $49 internationally.
Original painting Sold, acrylic on canvas, 300 x 300mm, 2015
Prince is a painting of an endemic New Zealand kōkako bird, which is related to the extinct huia bird whose feathers were a taonga (treasure) among Māori.
In Māori myth the kōkako gives Maui, the infamous Polynesdian demi-god, water to quench his thirst as he fought to slow the racing sun across the sky so the days here on earth could be slower and longer. The kōkako filled its wattles with water and brought it to Maui, who rewarded the kōkako by making its legs long and slender, enabling the bird to bound through the forest with ease in search of food.
The South Island kōkako was considered extinct until 2013 when rare sightings brought its Department of Conservation classification back from 'extinct' to 'data deficient'. Now known as the Grey Ghost, there is renewed hope for the South Island kokako. However the bird’s incredibly shy and secretive visual nature, coupled with its unusual tendency to very rarely produce vocalizations and possibly even mimic the song of other bird species, is making it impossible to to acquire unequivocal video, audio or photographic evidence.
The North Island kōkako on the other hand has orange wattles and is definitely still with us, but is endangered with fewer than 400 pairs existing in isolated forest areas.
Sofia Minson Paintings | New Zealand Artwork