Radio New Zealand interviews Sofia Minson on her portraits of modern Maori with Ta Moko (facial tattoo)

Radio New Zealand Te Manu Korihi News for 28th April 2014 featured Sofia Minson’s search for portrait sitters for her new series of contemporary Maori portrait paintings of men and women with Ta Moko – traditional facial tattoos.

The artist says “I’m interested in finding out why Maori are embracing the ancient tradition of Moko Kauae and Moko Kanohi in our contemporary world by creating a new series of portraits that documents the diverse faces and stories of our people.”

Minson’s aim is also to help revive the the art of Maori portrait painting, which has arguably been in limbo since the likes of 19th century colonial artists C.F. Goldie and Gottfried Lindauer. While she is inspired by their works, she says her portraits “are far from Goldie’s recordings of a vanishing race” and are intended to fill an important niche for her generation. “Nowadays we find that it is not so easy to define who or what is Maori” says the artist of mixed Ngati Porou, Swedish, English and Irish heritage. “But one thing’s for sure, our culture is alive and continues to evolve.”

Posted by artist Sofia Minson from
New Zealand Maori portrait and landscape oil paintings

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