Brett Rangitaawa (Te Atiawa, Ngati Raukawa).
Rangitaawa has a lifelong fascination with molten metal. He began working with metal at age 15, as part of a metal casting apprenticeship in Lower Hutt.
From these early beginnings, today Rangitaawa owns and operates The Heavy Metal Company, a commercial metal foundry in Wellington.
In his capacity as an expert foundryman, Rangitaawa has assisted some of New Zealand’s most prominent sculptors with the casting of their large scale metal works. Among the sculptures with which Rangitaawa has assisted are Paul Dibble’s monumental Southern Stand (in London’s Hyde Park corner), Roddy McMillan’s larger than life sculpture of The World’s Fastest Indian (in Queens Park, Invercargill), and Kingsley Baird’s The Tomb of the Unknown Warrior (in Wellington).
With many years expertise in metal work, Rangitaawa has now turned his talents to the creation of his own sculptures.
Incorporating his study of whakairo (Maori traditional art) with his extensive metal casting experience, Rangitaawa’s bronze and aluminium works are both expertly crafted and culturally evocative.