Sandy Adsett

Sandy Adsett
Ngāti Kahungunu ki te Wairoa/Ngāti Kahungunu/Māori
Ngāti Pāhauwera/Māori
Date of birth
Place of birth
Hawke's Bay (region)/New Zealand
Across six decades, Sandy Adsett has explored Māori symbology and given new voice to customary approaches to Māori art. The primary element in much of his work is the koru (unfurling fern frond), and he often references flora and fauna, within a paradigm of interconnectedness.

In 1961, he joined Gordon Tovey in the Department of Education’s Advisory Service, going on to lecture in Tairawhiti Polytechnic’s Toihoukura Māori art programme, alongside Sir Derek Lardelli and Steve Gibbs. He has since led the Toimairangi Māori Arts degree programme for Te Wānanga o Aotearoa in Heretaunga/Hastings.

Adsett received the Order of New Zealand in 2005. In 2020, he was made an Arts Foundation Icon.