Sunday, May 15, 2011

Piwakawaka Wikitoriana

Piwakawaka Wikitoriana

This is a little work that I completed before the Auckland Artisan Market in Parnell. Again it continues on exploring ideas based on connecting our manu native birds with Victorian society.

Here is the old photograph which I based Piwakawaka (fantail) on, the expression on the lady's face is quite confident and twinkly, just how I see the wee birds themselves.

Piwakawaka traditionally are viewed as being an omen of death, if one flies into your house, it is believed to signify that someone is going to die. When Maui was trying to defeat Hine-nui-te-po, the sleeping Goddess of Death, Piwakawaka was so amused by Maui's technique attempting this, laughing so loudly that Hine-nui-te-po woke up and then killed Maui. This is where this sweet wee bird developed it's terrible reputation from.

Detail of
Piwakawaka Wikitoriana
 When dealing with notions of extinction and conservation, using Piwakawaka symbolically is very appropriate.

Further images and information are available here; ellaQuaint on Felt

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