John Bevan Ford

Maui, Ancestor of the Pacific

Maui, Ancestor of the Pacific by John Bevan Ford

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Kei te rongonui ā-ao a John Bevan Ford mō ana tānga waituhi manganga e takea mai ai i ngā momo toi o mua: ngā tauira o te raranga, te kōwhaiwhai, te korowai, te whakairo. Kei te kitea ngā āhuatanga matua e rua: te āhua taiao me te kahu. He maha ngā haerenga me ngā whakaaturanga a Ford ki tāwāhi i ngā tau o 1990. I taua wā he kaupapa nui ki a ia te whakawhitiwhiti ahurea.

Kei roto a Māui i ngā kōrero huri noa i te Moana-Nui-a-Kiwa. Kei te tohua a Māui hei kahu kaitā – he ata whakarite i tōna mana huri noa i te Moana-Nui-a-Kiwa. I roto i a Maui and Mahuika, 1993, he ōrite te mana o Mahuika (atua o te ahi) ki tō Māui – ki tā tēnei i taea ai āna mahi nunui e te mana, te mātauranga, te whakaaetanga o ngā atua wahine.

John Bevan Ford is internationally renowned for his intricate ink drawings based on recognisable customary art forms: raranga (weaving), kōwhaiwhai (rafter paintings), korowai (woven cloaks) and carving patterns. His work often brings together two distinct elements: landscapes and kahu (cloak forms). In the 1990s Ford travelled and exhibited extensively overseas. His work during this period became concerned with making cross-cultural connections.

Stories of the demi-god Māui are found throughout Moana Oceania. Māui is personified in these works as a towering cloak – a metaphor for his mana (power, prestige) on and across the Pacific Ocean. In Maui and Mahuika, 1993 Mahuika (goddess of fire) is portrayed in equal status to Māui – an acknowledgement that his exploits were contingent on the mana, knowledge and permission of atua wāhine (female deities).

Title
Maui, Ancestor of the Pacific
Artist/creator
Production date
1993
Medium
felt pen, pencil
Dimensions
570 x 768 mm
Credit line
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, purchased 1994
Accession no
1994/5/1
Copyright
Copying restrictions apply
Department
New Zealand Art
Display status
On display

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