Limited edition of 275 signed fine-art prints
- Available on museum archival paper or canvas
- Unframed prints arrive in a tube
- Shipped worldwide (FREE in NZ, $35 internationally)
Original painting available: view here, acrylic vinyl on canvas
1210mm high x 800mm wide (including frame), 2018
The Story of Rongoā
This painting honours the traditional system of Māori medicine “Rongoā”, which focuses on the spiritual dimension of healing transferred through plants, karakia (prayer and intention) and physical therapies such as massage.
A bouquet of native plants, flowers and berries from Aotearoa as well as a few recent migrants with notable abilities for healing human suffering and blockages, hang in the cosmic blackness of Te Pō - The Long Night. This creative blossoming of intelligent plant entities makes up a planetary bouquet representing Gaia - our Earth Mother Papatūānuku.
Intricate Māori motifs in white dance over ponga (fern) leaves and unfolding koru fronds; a kauri pine cone; mushrooms; cannabis and kawakawa leaves; harakeke, pohutukawa, mānuka and kōwhai flowers; and red karamu and miro berries.
Papatūānuku’s creations are framed above by Ranginui - Sky Father - in the form of a manaia. The manaia is a guardian figure that carries messages between spiritual and mortal realms, with a bird’s head and serpent’s tale. Here it forms the never ending circular symbol of the ouroborus, found across time and cultures as the dragon or snake eating its own tale. We could see this as the idea of a complete universe, encompassing a perfect balance of forces.
Matariki (the Pleiades constellation, also known as The Seven Sisters) are ngā whetū (the stars) which appear in mid-winter, signalling the beginning of the Māori New Year. They appear almost in a stardome-like effect here, between the blossoming earth mother and the encircling sky father above.
Within this representation of the cosmic mother and father is their son Tāne-mahuta, in the form of the pine cone at the apex of the plants. Here the pine cone, which contains within it the potential to grow into a mighty Kauri tree, holds up the sky.
Tāne is the progenitor of humankind and of all of the flora and fauna found in creation. His parents, the earth and the sky, once clung together in a tight embrace and were finally, with much effort, separated by Tāne. Air, space and light were able to enter the realm between them - Te Ao Mārama. From a confined world of darkness came an expansive World of Light, perfect for the growth of plants, animals and ourselves.
Matariki is an abbreviation of Ngā Mata o te Ariki (Eyes of God) in reference to Tāwhirimātea, god of the wind and weather. When Tāne separated his parents, his brother Tāwhirimātea got upset and tore out his eyes, crushed them into pieces and threw them into the sky.
The pine cone with its striking unfolding fibonacci spiral has been used at least since ancient Egypt, as well as by Christianity, to represent the primordial creative mind, inner wisdom, and connection with The All, which sits at the third eye (the pineal gland in the brain) and is the gateway of consciousness.
Depicted inside of the Kauri pine cone are psilocybin mushrooms, which when ingested have psychoactive effects that can temporarily enable us to unlock this connection with expansive states of consciousness. This can be a dark and traumatic experience for some and a profoundly healing experience for others.
Cannabis leaves sit just below the mushrooms. Cannabis and hemp are healing plants that can be used for their psychoactive and relaxation effects or in their non-psychoactive form - CBD oil. CBD oil massively reduces chronic and acute physical pain and mental anxiety. Cannabis has co-evolved with us for tens of thousands of years, similar to cultivated fruits like the apple, crops like corn and maize, or even domesticated animals like the housecat. Cannabis is part of the human shaping of the earth.
Sofia Minson Paintings | New Zealand Artwork
Rongoa, Papatuanuku, Tane, Tanemahuta, Tane mahuta, manuka, kowhai, Tawhirimatea