Brett Graham

Ngāti Koroki Kahukura


Brett Graham is one of New Zealand’s most accomplished sculptors, highly regarded for his ability to abstract complex historical and cultural ideas into formally strong and beautiful sculptural forms. Graham places strong emphasis on materiality and surface with the formal simplicity of his sculptural pieces and predominant use of wood and stone. His work engages in a dual dialogue of Maori and European histories whilst adhering to the modernist emphasis on form and material quality. Although Graham’s works may not directly invoke Maori sculptural tradition, they nonetheless speak of that tradition in their titles and concept. Grounded in a Maori world-view, Brett’s practice reaches out to embrace wider experiences and questions of power relations. His art addresses some of the most topical and pressing global questions about how people, cultures, nations and religions perceive and speak to each other.

Brett Graham has been included in many major exhibitions throughout New Zealand, Australia, Canada and USA. His work has been included in exhibitions all over the world. Highlights include the Venice Biennale 2007, the Sydney Biennale 2006 and 2010 and the 2013 survey of international indigenous art at the National Gallery of Canada.

His many public commissions include: Kahukura, Tjibaou Cultural Centre, New Caledonia; Whaowhia Auckland War Memorial Museum; Land Lust Lost, Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, Wellington; Kotahitanga Sargeant Gallery, Wanganui; Kaiwhakatere, Parliment buildings, Wellington; Escape, North Shore District Court, Auckland; Hopuhopu, Tainui Endowed College Fore-Court; Kaiwhakatere, Wellington Sculpture Trust, Wellington Ko Hamutana, King’s College, Auckland; Te Moeamoea O Te Tauira, East Tamaki Campus, University of Auckland; Te Matariki, Waikato Law School, University of Waikato, Hamilton; Nine Muse,s Maidment Theatre, University of Auckland