Kupu Waimāori

Kupu Waimāori

Dimensions: 61x93cm

Materials: Oil, Bitumen on Canvas




This work is a direct outcome of the proposed foreshore and seabed legislation to be released in New Zealand on May 6, 2004.

The paintings encapsulate the need for the government to turn an eye to New Zealand’s founding document which was established to provide political relationships that would enable good governance. 

It was made directly after the foreshore and seabed proposal. On May 6, Maori and other New Zealanders alike will take up the mantle of forebearer’s like Whina Cooper to show strong opposition to a bill that seeks to strip New Zealand’s indigenous people of their rights guaranteed under Article two and three of the treaty and dresses up a mass confiscation under the pretence of crown ownership. I have incorporated motifs such as bees to reference the MP’s flying off with parts of the treaty. Roots symbolize the foundations of the treaty. Repeated rock carving images of man assert the nature of Maori customary title to the foreshore and seabed. Kowhaiwhai patterns reference tenacity and strength, tukutuku patterns reference knowledge and maggots reference re-form. 

As a painter, I use text, motif and pictorial devices to illustrate this. As an art educator, I learn as much as I can about this and as a mother, I will teach my children to stand up for their rights and continue to do so.

Charlotte Graham