From Rangiatea | Sofia Minson Oil Painting

By: New Zealand Artwork  05-Apr-2012

Original Oil Painting - $12,500

Size: 1010mm high x 1370mm wide
Medium: Oil on canvas
Date: 2011

"From Rangiatea" expresses universal themes of origins, journeys, dynamic life, deep stillness and a spiritual connection with the land.

The painting is named after a group of islands in the Pacific known as Rangiatea or the Society Group. Like Hawaiiki, Rangiatea is considered an ancient Maori homeland from whence the original canoes voyaged to New Zealand centuries ago. Connection to this homeland is conveyed in the proverb "He kakano ahau, ruia mai i Rangiatea", which means "I am a seed, scattered from Rangiatea."

In terms of narrative "From Rangiatea" is informed by the legend of Kupe, the great Polynesian navigator. Kupe is said to have visited Rangiatea and journeyed from his homeland, Hawaiiki, to become the first person to discover Aotearoa. Sofia's interpretation of his great ocean going vessel, the Matawhaorua, is pictured in this work with an intricately carved taurapa (stern piece) and tauihu (bow piece).

The crew of the Matawhaorua encountered many obstacles on their long voyage including a battle with an enraged, monstrous Octopus. It was Kupe's wife Hine Te Aparangi who finally sighted land naming it Aotearoa, Land of the Long White Cloud.

The solitary, ancient waka is depicted resting upon the shores of Aotearoa after its immense journey. Two pouakai eagles - a large native species with a wingspan of up to 3 metres that went extinct c.1400 A.D. - are shown flying to greet the newly arrived vessel. As Kupe and the crew of the Matawhaorua leave the waka to explore the discovered land, this painting gives the sense that although the people are gone, the spirit and memory of their great voyage remains.

Sofia Minson Oil Paintings | New Zealand Artwork
The information in this article was current at 27 Mar 2012

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