Sandy Adsett


Puhoro by Sandy Adsett

Artwork Detail

Kōwhaiwhai (rafter painting) has provided the inspiration for Sandy Adsett’s painting practice for more than 50 years. Adsett championed the revival of kōwhaiwhai scholarship, bringing it into the terrain of contemporary Māori art. His paintings of the late 1960s and early 70s brought a new vitality to the conversation of kōwhaiwhai painting, incorporating vibrant colour, line and novel painting techniques.

Puhoro, 2020 brings Adsett’s kōwhaiwhai painting practice into an accord with the South Atrium’s architecture. The puhoro pattern denotes, speed, agility and interconnectedness. Its repeat across the glass wall highlights the eternal nature of kōwhaiwhai, as it links one section to another in an expression of whakapapa (relational ties), echoing connection between people. Puhoro is radiant, colouring light like the stained glass windows we find in places of devotion. It is a glorious reminder of the timeless power of kōwhaiwhai and signals Adsett’s expertise in this artform.

Sandy Adsett
Production date
digital print on vinyl
Credit line
commissioned by Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, 2020. supported by the Auckland Contemporary Art Trust
Accession no
Copying restrictions apply
New Zealand Art
Display status
Not on display

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