My Story – Artist Bio

I was born in Wellington and spent several years with my kuia and koro in Rangiahua, Wairoa. During this time I was exposed daily to the influence of whakairo maori. Many of my teachings in this area were conducted within the boundaries of the marae atea of my hapu, therefore as an artist I have been sculptured from early childhood by the ancient Maori lore of design. I consider the spirituality of maori art to reside within the sea, mountains, rivers, lakes, hills, forest and sky. The essence of Maori existence is in itself an intricate form of art. It was within this culture I was raised.



Wai te Kauri 2007


In 2006 my son and I moved to Wairoa and I began painting full-time. My paintings explore the nature of Hapu (subtribe) identity, consequently a lot of motifs in my work are borrowed from my ancestral whare tupuna, Te Poho O Tamaterangi. The work has strong symbolic components and touches on issues of land confiscation,identity and spirituality.

In 2015, I brought my son back to Tairawhiti,  to recconnect him with his hapu, iwi on his Ngati Porou side.  In 2016, I completed my Bachelors degree of Maori Visual Arts ( Te Toi O Nga Rangi )

Education  :  Bachelors degree in Visual Arts & Design Maori.

                       Graduate Diploma of Teaching and Learning Art (Secondary).

Selected past Exhibitions

2016   Puea Exhibition, 3rd year, Toihoukura, Gisborne

2016  Tau Hou exhibition, Maia gallery, Toihoukura, Gisborne.

2016  Te Whanau marama exhibition, Toihoukura students, Pataka Art Museum, Porirua, Wellington

2014   Solo show, artist residence, Wairoa.

2012  The Bank gallery, group exhibition, Wairoa.

2010  Braveheart Youth Trust Art Exhibition, ASB Showgrounds,Greenlane, Auckland.

2009  Gifted sands, selected artists, Mokotahi hall, Mahia.

2008  Solo exhibition Hoki ke te kainga, (The return home), LeSa gallery, Wellington.

2008  Takitimu Festival 2008, Nga toi exhibitions, Hastings.

2008  Gifted sands, selected artists, Mokotahi hall, Mahia.

2007  Stockroom group exhibition, LeSa gallery, Wellington.

2007  Gifted sands, selected artists, Mokotahi hall, Mahia

2006  Deborah Hope new works, solo exhibition, Wairoa Museum, Koputanga Taonga O te Wairoa.

2005  The Ataahua Art Auction “Featured Artists”, Kura Art gallery, Wellington.

2003  Nga uri O Tamaterangi Exhibition “Featured Artists” Wairoa Museum, Koputanga Taonga O Te Wairoa.