Young Mists of Pukaki
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Limited edition of 75 signed fine-art prints available on museum archival card. 261mm high x 550mm wide. Unframed prints shipped FREE in NZ, $35 internationally.
Original painting Sold, 1010 x 2130mm, oil on canvas, 2007
“Young Mists of Pukaki” was inspired by Sofia’s reverence for the land, myths and history of Aotearoa (New Zealand). The soft, eerie landscape depicts a snow-covered Aoraki Maunga (Mt Cook) with the glacial-fed Lake Pukaki in the foreground. This artwork is Sofia’s depiction of an enchanting, primordial world where Aotearoa is still young and the mountains, lakes and birds have only just emerged from the mists of creation.
As Ngai Tahu’s sacred tribal mountain, Aoraki is also the highest peak in Aotearoa. Ngai Tahu are a prominent South Island iwi (tribe) who trace their lineage back to Tahu Potiki, the younger brother of Porourangi who was one of the great ancestors of Ngati Porou - Sofia’s own iwi.
The legend of Aoraki’s origins enhanced the making of “Young Mists of Pukaki”. It tells of four brothers who made a grave mistake, which created the spectacular mountain range known today as Te Tiritiri o Te Moana (The Southern Alps).
The story begins when Raki (Sky Father) wedded Papatuanuku (Earth Mother). After the marriage the four sons of Raki, one of whom was Aoraki (which translates as Cloud in the Sky), came down from the celestial sphere to greet their father's new wife. They descended to earth in a waka (canoe) and spent time with Papatuanuku, who lay as one body in a vast continent known as Hawaiiki. After exploring the surrounding ocean the brothers decided to return to their home. However the karakia (incantation), which should have lifted the waka back to the heavens failed and the canoe fell back into the sea and leaned over onto its side, turning to stone and earth in the process. Thus the earthen waka became the South Island of New Zealand. Aoraki and his brothers clambered on to the high side and were also turned to stone, remaining there until this day as the great Southern Alps.
In the painting Aoraki stands as a quiet giant that is destined to endure patiently over generations of human migration, natural evolution, creation and extinction.
A white Mt Cook Lily peeks into the painting from below, surveying the scene. Life begins to sprout from Papatuanuku, the fertile young land.
Raki, the sky, is filled with birds. Aotearoa was once home to the Pouakai Eagle, which had an impressive wingspan of up to three meters and became extinct A.D.1400. These majestic creatures are pictured soaring over Lake Pukaki as guardians of the history and wairua (spirit) of the land.
“Young Mists of Pukaki” explores Sofia’s vision of a mythical Aotearoa, enriched by stories of ancient peoples, gods and natural history.
Sofia Minson Paintings | New Zealand Artwork