Dimensions: 76x120cm

Materials: Oil, Bitumen on Canvas




This work entitled Kaitiaki translates as guardian and is constructed using floating koru motif, diamond shapes and a series of land and canoe forms. For this work, Graham reminds us to be guardians of the lands and sea.

These forms are juxtaposed in an overlapped compositional framework. Within the frame, Graham’s unique cursive koru mo depicting the sea dominates a fair portion of the dark canvas surface. The floating diamond shapes recall Graham’s tribal staple food (patiki/ flounder) for which her people are well known to catch and share.


When it comes to composition, Graham’s use of a multi-directional land layout looks as though the four winds have cut up the land. Sharp angles bear resemblance to the earth destructive nature caused by man's constant overconsumption of natural resources. They also refer to upturned canoes indicating long-term settlement.

She employs her unique cursive koru motif derived from the koru and flanked in haehae to dance over both land and sea. This compositional device reiterates the voyage one journeys and our connection

Charlotte Graham