Liam Te Nahu
Liam’s inspiration and thematic emphasis for this exhibition is this pepeha of Maranga-Tu-He-Taua, his iwi on his mother’s side. The work in this exhibition embodies his identity and whakapapa, (the traditional and historical knowledge base from which he draws his artistic style) and the levels he has achieved in his travails as an artist.
The underpinning message of his pepeha is that when one area of sustenance closes, another opens, and this embodies the nature of Liam’s thinking when he uses traditional Maori korero, kowhaiwhai, whakairo, taniko and tamoko, and presents them in modern, contemporary forms and styles. This is a contrast of traditional motifs within modern ideas. His work is influenced strongly by John Bevan Ford, James Ormsby and Pablo Picasso. When one food basket opens, the other food basket closes.
Liam has also come under the influence of the Native American Indian and Japanese cultures and a number of his works demonstrate this. Again his source of sustenance, or inspiration for his art, shifts from one food-basket to another.
Although Liam grew up in the Waikato, he hails from te Tairawhiti:- Maranga-Tu-He-Taua, Ngai Tai, Tainui, Ngati Raukawa, Rongomaiwahine, Ngai Tamanuhiri, Kai Tahu, Te Aitanga-a-Mahaki & Rongowhakaata are his ancestral connections. He graduated from Toihoukura in 2011 with a Degree in Maori Visual Arts – Te Toi o Nga Rangi.
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