I grew up in a predominantly Maori neighbourhood, and with strong family ties to Nga Puhi and Ngati Toarangatira, my interest in New Zealand and Maori arts and culture was inevitable.
I'm heavily influenced by traditional forms – motifs and symbols that interact and bind to form a story of meaning and significance. For me, every piece needs to tell a story. Whether it's for a person, or about a legend from yesteryear, the significance of each carving's meaning must be apparent in the design. As part of my journey, I also explore contemporary areas of Maori art, and use my design skills to use motifs and symbols in fresh ways. But always respectful of the traditional meanings and mana of the original works. I also like to design straight onto the piece, often guided by ideas as I carve. I feel that this way the spirit of the medium is having its say with what it wants to become.
I like to work in most mediums, preferring more traditional materials like whale bone and New Zealand indigenous stone, but happy working in antler, beef bone and other forms of ivory. My work is currently displayed in a number of different galleries including Te Papa, Iwi Art, Rotorua Museum, Auckland Museum, The Poi Room and Pataka Contemporary Maori Art Museum.