Ngā Hau Ngākau


Our kaupapa has been to work together, using painting, carving and music to bind narratives that celebrate the forms and histories of the whenua.

Untitled 5 by Jack Trolove

A collaborative installation between painter Robin Slow, master carver Brian Flintoff and musician Bob Bickerton, Ngā Hau Ngākau (Breath of Mine) presents paintings, carvings and sound to explore narratives of Te Ao Māori through rich and evocative imagery and otherworldly soundscapes. It evokes the form of a whare whakairo (carved meeting house) dedicated to the manu (birds) treasured in Māori mythology as messengers who connect the different realms of being. Paintings, carvings and sound weave together to bind the past to the present and then to the future, to bind the physical to the spiritual. 

The exhibition offers a different perspective to consider contemporary human experience in Aotearoa. The wharenui is a place of learning, a place where the stories of ngā manu can be seen and heard, a place to rest, to explore, to reflect and to experience through quiet contemplation. 

Stone and bone meet acrylic paint and gold foil to create a space inside and outside of time. Using kōwhaiwhai as a base, the spiralling forms echo the cyclical relationship we have with the past. The overlapping of traditional and contemporary tools and techniques reflect the continuum on which we exist with our world and our history today.  

Two carved taonga pūoro and three paintings in a gallery

Paintings by Robin Slow, carving by Brian Flintoff.
Photos by John Paul Pochin.