The Maori art of kowhaiwhai in perspective

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dc.contributor.author Ewing, Campbell Lewis en
dc.date.accessioned 2008-12-11T02:16:09Z en
dc.date.available 2008-12-11T02:16:09Z en
dc.date.issued 2003 en
dc.identifier THESIS 03-399 en
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/2292/3236 en
dc.description Restricted Item. Print thesis available in the University of Auckland Library or may be available through Interlibrary Loan. en
dc.description.abstract Art does not automatically reflect larger social forces nor does it determine the form these forces take. It constitutes an independent field of operation concerned with human self-fashioning. Spatial qualities are, in visual contexts, a means for focussing artistic activity, irrespective of whether they mimic the visual experience of space in lived experience. The treatment of space in nineteenth century Maori art reflects the adaptation by Maori artists of European compositional practices. Prior to the arrival of the Europeans, Maori art was tactile and incorporated the beholder in the work. Artworks functioned as intermediary between the space occupied by the work's bearer and forces outside the artists' ability to control. This can be seen in South Island rock art, which provides visual evidence of the origins of kowhaiwhai painting. There the context of the work is interwoven with the image. The influence of European compositional techniques on this artform is traced to the first encounter between Maori and Europeans on board Cook's Endeavour. Artists, with a common interest in the potential of the serpentine line, were able to cross-infect and influence the direction of art in their reciprocal cultures. In Maori art, this encounter resulted in the introduction of planar separation between fore and background elements in kowhaiwhai painting and later in sculpture. It presaged a transformation of kowhaiwhai motifs. The process of transferring them to new contexts for Maori art, which had emerged by the middle of the nineteenth century, subverted kowhaiwhai' s symbiotic relationship with its medium. The patterns changed appropriately. But its meaning, derived from kowhaiwhai's origins in rock art, was not lost. During the latter part of the nineteenth century, the motif became increasingly independent of its medium, capable of being imprinted in a variety of contexts and carrying to these its traditional mediating function. By the close of the nineteenth century, Maori artists had incorporated the use of European spatial conventions in their tradition. This made possible painting's transition to naturalistic subject matter. Change was generated by an artistic practice concerned to preserve its roots, while simultaneously responding to representational techniques derived from exposure to European art. en
dc.publisher ResearchSpace@Auckland en
dc.relation.isreferencedby UoA1183422 en
dc.rights Restricted Item. Print thesis available in the University of Auckland Library or may be available through Interlibrary Loan. en
dc.rights.uri https://researchspace.auckland.ac.nz/docs/uoa-docs/rights.htm en
dc.title The Maori art of kowhaiwhai in perspective en
dc.type Thesis en
thesis.degree.grantor The University of Auckland en
thesis.degree.level Masters en
dc.subject.marsden Fields of Research::370000 Studies in Human Society::379900 Other Studies In Human Society::379902 Indigenous studies en
dc.rights.accessrights http://purl.org/eprint/accessRights/ClosedAccess en


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