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Maori artist Chris Flavell did not think his latest exhibition would take off.
The Riverton-based sculptor has put a contemporary spin on an old art form for a celebration of Maori artists at the Dunedin Community Gallery. Flavell (48) began experimenting with Maori kites after discovering an old image of the design in a book.
''Captain Cook took one back to England with him. It was made of flax and raupo and had a tattooed Maori face,'' he said.
''I started experimenting with the same shape, using the kite as a human form. I wanted to take an inanimate kite and transform it into a different creature.
''A bird-like structure evolved, although everyone seems to see something different in them. I try to make things that don't fit.''
The 4m sculptures are made of milled rimu, which has been recycled from bed bases.
''Everything I make has to fit in the back of my Subaru station wagon,'' Flavell explained.
The works feature in a Southern Maori Business Network exhibition showcasing work by more than a dozen Maori artists.
''It's about sharing Maori stories and culture and promoting Maori artists,'' co-curator Antony Deaker said.
The Puaka Matariki Art Exhibition is on at the Dunedin Community Gallery from 10am to 4pm until July 11.