4 May 2012

Veteran sculpted contemporary Maori art - colleague

9:03 pm on 4 May 2012

A colleague of the late veteran sculptor, Arnold Manaaki Wilson, describes him as the "Godfather" of contemporary Maori art.

Mr Wilson, of Ngai Tuhoe, Te Arawa, and Scottish descent died this week at the age of 84.

Hawkes Bay artist, Sandy Adsett of Ngati Pahauwera, says he met Arnold Wilson in the 1960s and says he was a warm kind-hearted person with a good sense of humour who related well to young Maori students, encouraging them to excel in the arts.

Mr Adsett says as a sculptor Mr Wilson wasn't afraid to experiment using non-traditional materials - thinking outside the square, working with metal, vivid paint and wood in various forms.

He says Arnold Wilson was the first one to break those boundaries and have sculptural forms that weren't highly decorated with surface patterning; he went to the true form.

Mr Adsett says his dear old friend was recognised as the leader in modern art, and will be sadly missed.