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Michael Parekowhai

Tua Whitu

Tua Whitu by Michael Parekowhai

Artwork Detail Request a print

This instrument is one of a unique edition which has the collective title Ten Guitars. Each customised instrument has different patterns derived from kowhaiwhai (rafter paintings) and, like all multiple art works, each is numbered. Tua whitu, ‘the seventh’ in Te Reo Māori, is inlaid in paua-shell lettering at the 12th fret.

Engelbert Humperdink’s song Ten Guitars – the ‘B’ side of Please Release Me (1967) – was forgotten in the rest of the world but appropriated by Māori who had moved from rural areas to cities. As the artist has stated ‘in the 60s the guitar was like a portable marae’.

toru, wha…

(Recent Contemporary Acquisitions, 2002)

Title
Tua Whitu
Artist/creator
Production date
1999
Medium
custom-made ‘Patriot’ semi-acoustic jazz guitar, maple, spruce, rewarewa, kauri, ebony and paua
Size (h x w)
1200 x 570 x 500 mm
Inscription
inscribed on inside of guitar body "William..illeg../ #19064/ ..illeg.."; as part of guitar inlaid paua on reverse of guitar head "C[?]W", and inlaid paua on face of guitar head "Patriot", also "bartolini" in c. of guitar
Credit line
Chartwell Collection, Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, 2001
Accession no
C2001/1/5/1-3
Copyright
Copying restrictions apply
Department
New Zealand Art
Display status
Not on display

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