Para Matchitt

Papa Kāinga

Papa Kāinga by Para Matchitt

Artwork Detail

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)

Papa Kāinga
Para Matchitt
Production date
2800 x 7800 x 7800 mm
Credit line
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, purchased 1997
Accession no
Copying restrictions apply
New Zealand Art
Display status
Not on display

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