Fred Graham: Toi Whakaata / Reflections

Toi Whakaata / Reflections brings together a focused selection of works by esteemed Māori sculptor Fred Graham (Ngāti Korokī Kahukura, Tainui b.1928). Reflecting on Graham’s art practice of over 70 years, this exhibition includes significant works made between 1965 and 2013, with an emphasis on the artist’s small-scale freestanding sculptures and relief works. The exhibited pieces demonstrate the development of Graham’s distinctive visual language, which intersects Māori and European art traditions and combines wood, stone and stainless steel.

Narrative and the sharing of knowledge are central to Graham’s practice. The works in Toi Whakaata / Reflections chart Māori histories, from the separation of Ranginui and Papatūānuku (the sky and the earth) and Te Ika-a-Māui (the origin of the North Island) to the Tainui waka arriving in Aotearoa and the New Zealand Wars. Within these broader narratives, Graham’s works also evoke personal stories, making reference to relationships with close friends and whānau, as well as daily observations of the natural world, such as birds in flight and the flow of water. Toi Whakaata / Reflections highlights the skilful intertwining of the macro and the micro in Graham’s visual storytelling.

08 June - 18 August 2024