Exhibition at Pataka Gallery in Wellington from 26 January to 3 March

I’m very excited to be involved in…
Aho Whenua - Threads sown from Earth
A group show featuring several of my oil paintings alongside a unique collection of contemporary Maori weaving, ceramics and jewellery.

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Maori Television features Sofia’s 4-18 September 2012 exhibition

I appreciate the huge amount of support for this exhibition, opening night with friends and family was a real pleasure after an intense three months of painting long days and nights in the studio!

Here is a Maori TV video about the show…

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$95 Reserve on 135 NZ Artworks! 8th March Silent Auction to Save Wallace Gallery in Morrinsville

Sofia Minson – “Waka Pacific” 20x20cm oil on museum paper $95 reserve 

The Wallace Gallery in Morrinsville has brought over 21,000 visitors into the town. Their exhibition space for local artists is always booked out 12 months in advance and they house a revolving exhibition of Sir James Wallace’s collection of contemporary New Zealand art.

…And their working grant has been cut this year by local council!!

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Maori Myths This Summer

A hot La Niña Summer has arrived early in New Zealand this year.  Although farmers are fearing dry conditions it’s absolutely joyous for those of us who will be soaking in Aotearoa’s beautiful coastline over Christmas.  How about taking a book of Maori myths to the beach with you this summer?  You could find yourself looking at mountains, rivers, the earth, the sky and our ocean horizon with new cultural resources and a sense of awe.

I’ve been painting feverishly in my Glen Innes studio of late and it’s not because of the warm weather, it’s because of the Maori myths.  For years these ancient allegories have illuminated my concept of landscape topography, migration, natural forces, creation and spirituality.  Making their way into my artworks these stories have facilitated my reconnection with Aotearoa.

I was brought up in a globetrotting Kiwi family and we had little to do with our Ngati Porou (Maori), Swedish, English and Irish ancestry.  Due to my father’s engineering project management work we lived in Samoa, Sri Lanka and China and on our return to New Zealand when I was a teenager I felt ‘rootless’.  I wanted to forge new links with this land so I could feel at home here.

Among other investigations into my heritage I turned to researching Maori legends and for six years I have been inspired to paint our landscapes, seascapes, bird life, carvings and waka (canoes), enriched with layers of these stories.

I have just finished three works pictured below, which are based on the legend of Kupe, the great Polynesian navigator who is said to have journeyed from his homeland Hawaiiki, to become the first person to discover Aotearoa.  Themes of origins, journeys, dynamic life, deep stillness and spiritual connection with the land are explored.  In all three paintings I have depicted my interpretation of Kupe’s ocean-going waka, the Matawhaorua, with its intricately carved tauihu (bow piece) and taurapa (stern post).

Why not make your own explorations into the abundance of Maori myths out there? They could make very rewarding summer reading.

I hope these paintings move you to feel, as I do, a renewed sense of closeness with this beautiful and mysterious South Pacific land.