Zena Elliott

Zena Elliott
Ngāti Awa/Māori
Te Whānau-ā-Apanui/Māori
Ngāti Rangitihi/Māori
Ngāi Te Rangi/Māori
Te Arawa/Māori
Date of birth
Born in Whakatāne and raised in Te Teko, Zena Elliott started their practice as an artist in the 1990s. They completed their Master of Visual Arts with Distinction in 2006, and in 2018 completed a Bachelor of Māori Art (Whakairo) at Te Wānanga o Aotearoa, where they are a lecturer in Māori visual arts.

Elliott’s highly saturated paintings interweave references to their whakapapa (genealogy) with influences from abstract, stencil and street art. They incorporate traditional Māori patterns and forms into a stylised visual paradigm. In combining these visual languages, Elliott investigates connections between Māori identity and urban society, the construction of narrative, and the transmission of knowledge.