Te Rongo Kirkwood

Te Rongo Kirkwood – Biography

Te Rongo Kirkwood is a mixed-media artist who specialises in kiln formed, coldworked glass. Her work explores stories and concepts that are influenced by her Maori, English, and Scottish heritage, navigating celestial and metaphysical themes. Her sculptural pieces are a testament to her love of fine detail, technical mastery and experimentation.

With a connection to the natural elements, glass itself formed from sand, Te Rongo draws inspiration from the natural world.  While each piece has a story and underlying meaning, it is also celebrated for the pure, innate, seductive beauty of the materials. 

Kirkwood has exhibited in galleries and exhibitions around the world including Vancouver, San Francisco, and Canberra as well as in multiple exhibitions in her home country of New Zealand.  


In my practice I am interested in exploring archetypal symbolism that signals sacred ritual, and marks significant events in moments of time, that then become immortalised in memory. 

Pou Ihi, SOTG 2022

Te Rongo Kirkwood, Tamaki Makaurau Tribal Affiliations: Te Wai o Hua, Ngai Tai ki Tamaki, Te Kauwerau A Maki.

“I am a descendant of the Tainui tribes that once occupied Rangitoto, Motutapu and Waiheke islands. There is a story of ours about a duel that took place on Rangitoto between Hoturua of Tainui and Tamatekapua of the Arawa canoe.

Both claimed to be the first to have set up a tuahu or sacred alter laying claim to ownership of the island. In the duel Tamatekapua was struck by Hoturua drawing blood which ended the dispute. This became known as “Te Rangi i totongia a Tamatekapua” (the day Tamatekapua shed blood) today the site is known as Rangitoto.”