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Waituhi 5 

Highslide JS Waituhi Series

I’m haunted when finding the sketches of our old Kaumatua or ancestors. As a result, I have been caught up in the research and production of indigenous drawings (e.g. Heke with Kowhaiwhai). This work - often within whare, has been physical and at times even frustrating.

My Waituhi Series of drawings are a reaction to the avalanche of wearisome copies from the published lexicon of our kowhaiwhai designs. These kowhaiwhai templates have created a critical mass and it’s ensuing visual convention contains little knowledge and even less wisdom – especially in schools ! Some Maori use this limited published visual dictionary as their design stencil, their only guide or reference. The generic kowhaiwhai designs that have been applied in some whare over the past few decades are testament to this dangerous phenomenon.

My Waituhi Series – or complex drawings, is a response to this visual trend in our contemporary Maori design (re. Koru = spiral). I’m trying to figure out the quiet korero within our kowhaiwhai design. I’m copying the appropriated and authentic, drawing the geometry and idea, and finally reflecting the beautiful surface, content and mystery within kowhaiwhai design.

James Ormsby (2005)

Waituhi 9 

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Waituhi 4

 

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Waituhi 2

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Waituhi 1

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Waituhi 1

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