22 Jun 2012

Digital art creates bicultural imagery

7:34 pm on 22 June 2012

Maori and Pakeha cultures meet in a new digital art exhibition at the Toi Poneke art gallery.

Johnson Witehira's exhibition Ko Aotearoa Tenei features prominent New Zealand figures, such as a former Prime Minister Helen Clark, Sir Edmund Hillary, Dame Whina Cooper and Maui.

Mr Witehira is a student of Maori carving and combines the skill acquired from his studies with those from his day job as a graphic designer to create the art.

All of the figures are in the form of a pou-tahuhu - the carved pillars seen in meetings houses - but presented as a 2-dimensional digital drawing.

Mr Witehira has a bicultural background and says he wanted to portray that in his drawings.

He says there isn't a defined ethnicity for someone who is Maori and Pakeha and his exhibition is a way of creating an image for that ethnicity.