Para Matchitt

Papa Kāinga

Papa Kāinga by Para Matchitt

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Papa kāinga conveys home - everybody's home. Drawing on traditional Māori architecture, Para Matchitt's work is a contemporary metaphor for community, a universal shelter that pays tribute to a past papa kāinga. The structures seem to offer safe enclosures, but to enter them the adult visitor must crouch and bend, a humbling experience. Inside, the darkness is tempered by light filtering between the wooden planks and the smell of sawn wood enfolds the visitor. The apex of each house bears symbols from European and Māori history, and the work successfully fuses these elements. At the centre of Papa kāinga is a contemplative square space which is both a destination and a way out of the enclosure. Houses are a symbol of humanity's need to build havens of safety and security and Papa kāinga is such a place. When installed, the work is a memorable and popular attraction for Gallery visitors. Born at Tokomaru Bay, East Cape, Para Matchitt trained under master carver Pine Taiapa, learning the carving techniques and designs of his ancestors. He has received many public commissions, including a work at Auckland's Aotea Centre in 1989 and the City to Sea Bridge, 1993-94, on Wellington's waterfront. He spent many years as President of Ngā Puna Waihanga, the Association of Māori Artists and Writers, and has influenced and inspired generations of Māori artists. (from The Guide, 2001)

Title
Papa Kāinga
Artist/creator
Production date
1987
Medium
wood
Inscription
Kia mau nga whakapapa, nga maatauranga, nga tikanga o te papakaainga. Ka mau te wehi, te tapu, te mana, te ihi o te moana, te taiao, te whenua, ka riro totika. Ka mau te ora. Translation: Accept the histories, teachings and lore of the inherited tribal settlements and acknowledge the spirit, the sacredness, authority and powers of the sea, sky and earth in order to determine a covenant for living.
Credit line
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, purchased 1997
Accession no
1997/21
Copyright
Copying restrictions apply
Department
New Zealand Art
Display status
Not on display

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