Chris Bailey

Te Rerenga Wai ō Tīkapa Moana – The flowing waters of Tīkapa Moana, 2016

Turpentine (Syncarpia glomulifera), pāua shell and stain
eight parts, 7,000–4,000 x 170 mm diameter each (variable)

The flowing waters of the Hauraki Gulf are known by my people as Tīkapa moana ō Hauraki.

Just as those waters flow in and around these islands, I invite you to move in and through this installation.

Often with artwork we are asked to not touch the work, but to view it from a “safe” distance, likewise many will view often Māori culture from an observer’s perspective, from a position of ‘safety’ rather than engaging and immersing oneself in it.

This work is intentionally placed near a pathway, unavoidable and inviting that engagement with the Māori cultural narratives that it talks of. I believe that understanding manifests itself through engagement.

These narratives talk of rangatiratanga, honouring past and present leaders, guardians, tohunga, intellectual and spiritual ascension, enlightenment through education and the birds reference guardianship of the land and wairua whenua.

– Chris Bailey

Chris Bailey

Born 1965. Lives and works on Waiheke Island
Ngati Hako, Ngati Paoa, Te Aupouri, Ngati Porou, Irish

Chris Bailey trained in the traditional Māori material culture techniques of working stone, timber and flax fibre before commencing his career as a sculptor. Gravitating towards the harder stones of basalt and granite, Bailey developed form driven stone works in a larger scale while also developing carving skills working in Totara alongside carvers of the Piritahi Marae on Waiheke Island. In 2005 Bailey was granted lifetime Toi Iho status in recognition for his work as a senior Māori sculptor.

Chris Bailey has a Bachelor of Arts from The University of Auckland. His public artworks can be found in New Zealand and internationally. Awards and significant commissions include: Winner of James Wallace Trust New Zealand Sculptor 2014, Sculpture By The Sea, Australia; Pou Tu Te Rangi nominated for International Award for Public Art (2011), and Creative New Zealand commission, the New Zealand Room, 53rd Venice Biennale, St Maddalena Church, Venice, Italy (2009).

Represented by Toi Gallery and FHE Galleries, Auckland