Dimensions: 363x91cm

Materials: Oil, Bitumen on Canvas



This work entitled Kaitiakitanga is primarily constructed using text, land, waka and Graham’s unique pakati style. The title Kaitiakitanga which translates as guardianship becomes the backbone of the work. All words within this landscape formatted work are made up using letters re-formatted to make other words.

In this manner, the words reflect and reinforce the very nature of kaitiakitanga. The many waka seen within the landscape lay reference to the many waka that have travelled on Te Manukanuka-a-Hoturoa.


When it comes to composition, Graham’s use of multi-directional text layout looks as though the four winds have cut up the land in anger. The sharp angles that the text lie on bear resemblance to the earths destructive nature caused by mans constant overconsumption of natural resources.

She employs her unique cursive pakati based on the koru and flanked in haehae with no numerical order whatsoever. These dark haehae valleys cut into the land. A dark mass converges with the land and text to become one.  The work cautions us to lead more sustainable lifestyles so that we can protect our natural resource base and the fragile ecosystems on our planet.

Charlotte Graham