Arnold Manaaki Wilson

He Tangata, He Tangata

He Tangata, He Tangata by Arnold Manaaki Wilson

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The first Māori honours graduate in sculpture from Auckland's Elam School of Fine Arts, Arnold Manaaki Wilson was also the first of his generation to meld the traditional sculptural forms of his ancestors with western practice. Born in Te Urewera country, Wilson has said, 'I am the product of my parents, my extended family and the wise old ones of my people . . . Our culture is a store of inspiration for us'. Constantly exploring the disciplines of sculpture and pushing his work into new areas, Arnold Wilson draws on his Tühoe upbringing for the philosophical base of his work. This title comes from a whakataukï or Māori proverb: Hütia te rito o te harakeke, kei hea te kömako e kö? Kï mai ki a au, 'He aha te mea nui i te ao?' Māku e kï atu, 'He tāngata, he tāngata, he tāngata'. If the heart of the flax is pulled out, where will the kömako sing? If you ask me what is most important in this world, I will reply, 'People, people, people'. During a long and distinguished career as an artist and art educator, Arnold Wilson made an outstanding contribution to cross-cultural understanding in New Zealand. A founding member of Haerewa, the Gallery's Māori Advisory Group, he is a respected kaumatua for the Gallery and its staff. (from The Guide, 2001)

He Tangata, He Tangata
Production date
1170 x 360 x 300 mm
Credit line
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, purchased 1993
Accession no
Copying restrictions apply
New Zealand Art
Display status
Not on display

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