Artist James Bellaney at the unveiling of Puaka Matariki in South Dunedin yesterday. Photo by Peter McIntosh.
The formation of life was celebrated with a larger-than-life
artwork in South Dunedin yesterday.
The 3.6m by 3.4m acrylic work, Puaka Matariki, was created by
Dunedin artist James Bellaney to celebrate Matariki, the
Maori new year.
''It's about the Maori philosophy of creation and unity. The
moment all the elements came together to create the
ecosystem,'' Bellaney said at the unveiling yesterday.
''Before te ao-marama, or the natural world, all the gods
were swimming around in unity. Then Tane Mahuta [god of the
forest] split them apart and they all found their own spaces
in the ecosystem.''
The work was commissioned by the Matariki Festival Trust and
completed in July.
Matariki is the Maori name for the Pleiades star cluster,
which traditionally heralds the start of the Maori new year.
It was celebrated on June 10 this year. The triptych was
installed in King Edward St, South Dunedin, yesterday morning
on the exterior of the Pact building. Pact supports people
with intellectual and other disabilities and people
recovering from mental illness.
''The wall space was a really prime spot for it and it's a
community art project, so I wanted it to go to an
organisation that is an important part of the community,''