Chris Bailey Te Werowero – The Ongoing Challenge, 2018/19
Bronze, stainless steel base, 700 x 600 x 1800 mm (variable). Edition 1/3
Come with an open mind, respect for our culture and wāhi tapu (sacred places) and we will welcome you. Come lacking in these things, and we will challenge you.
For beneath the foreshore of this bay lie the bones of our ancestors, encircling this protected harbour with their presence.
Under this wharf resides the whai (stingray), our kaitiaki (guardian), and within these waters the Horopekapeka (Bronze whaler shark) guards the pathway by which you approach.
Born Wellington. Lives and works on Waiheke Island.
Chis Bailey (Ngati Hako, Ngati Paoa, Te Aupouri, Ngati Porou) trained at Auckland University in the traditional Māori material culture techniques of working stone, timber and flax fibre before commencing his career as a sculptor in his early 30s. Gravitating towards the harder stones of basalt and granite Bailey developed form-driven stone works in a larger scale while also developing his carving skills working in timber alongside the carvers of Piritahi Marae on Waiheke Island to help dressed the fully carved meeting house Kia Piritahi. More recently Bailey has started creating bronze sculptures.
In 2005, in recognition of the high quality of his artwork as a senior Māori sculptor Bailey was granted lifetime Toi Iho status by the New Zealand Arts Council. Bailey has exhibited extensively and completed a number of public artwork commissions both internationally and nationally with a documentary on his life and works to date completed in 2010. In 2009 he represented New Zealand at the 53rd Venice Biennale, in the NZ Room, La Maddalena church, Venice and in 2014 he was awarded on the Wallace Arts Trust New Zealand Sculptor Award at Sculpture by the Sea in Sydney.