Ko Hikurangi te Maunga
Ko Waiapu te Awa
Ko Ngati Porou te Iwi
Paora Toi-Te-Rangiuaia began his training as a jeweller and silversmith and discovered an early passion for his Maori heritage. Moving to Waiheke in 1990 he joined the local Piritahi marae and the formation of Waiheke’s first Maori arts initiative, Rongomauri Arts Collective. He has participated in or curated exhibitions at Te Taumata, Waiheke Community Art Gallery, Toi, Waiheke Sculpting Symposium, Fingers, Tamarillo, Shape Shifter, Ellerslie Sculpture Flower Show, Women’s Refuge Sculpture on Shore, The Lakehouse, and The Dowse Jewellery Biennale. Every second year since 2005 Paora has exhibited and sculpted in Switzerland, Albania and France. His 30 year art practice of tatai toi uses the vehicle of myth message and whakatauaki proverbs to overlay a Maori paradigm on current narratives. This follows his Tipuna through utilising cosmologies and genealogical historical recounts to preserve and inform the community of environment and identity.
Currently Paora is working on the Piritahi Marae wharenui ‘Kia Piritahi’ with kowhaiwhai panels and the carving of a two metre Poupou of Ngati Porou ancestors, Kiwa and Pawa. He is the co-initiator of the annual Sculpt Oneroa project.
His Waiheke gallery ‘Paora’ is in its 15th year and showcases his technical jewellery skills from precious metals and gems through to the progression of larger sculptural scales of bronze, aluminium, granites, marble, basalt, limestone, wood and glass. This eclectic mix of materials and scale have led Paora to his largest work in France. The 10 x 5 metre hard limestone stone sculpture undertaken by hand is an homage to his 19th century grandfather Riwai Pakerau, Tohunga whakairo and Kowhaiwhai painter of Ngati Porou. The seven year project was completed in bi-annual two month residencies and also involved lectures, exhibiting and performances.