Wi Taepa: Hue

New ceramics by Wi Taepa from the Whakamahatanga and Heke series. All were made in April this year, from a raku body clay with siligarta sprayed on then covered with iron oxide and fired in a gas kiln.

Taepa is a leading Māori clay artist of Ngāti Pikiao, Te-Roro-o-Te-Rangi, Te Arawa and Te Atiawa descent.

Wi Taepa was born in Te Whanganui-a-Tara/Wellington, with much of his early childhood spent at the Te Āti Awa settlement Waiwhetu Marae. The family later moved to Ōtaki and finally Whanganui, where Taepa studied at Wanganui Technical College (now Whanganui City College).

On returning to New Zealand having served in the Vietnam War, Taepa held a number of roles in reform and rehabilitation programmes teaching wood, bone and stone carving. He also began to experiment with clay.

Using coiling, pinching and slab techniques, Taepa forms his sculptures by hand. This tactile approach to building and shaping produces organic and textural forms.

25 July - 31 August 2003

Opening 24 July, 6pm

Te Papa biography