Dion Hitchens

Kōtuku, 2016

aluminium, stainless steel, automotive two pot paint, galvanised steel, tie rod ends and trailer hubs
3200 x 1100 x 1600 mm

The Rare and Precious White Heron
The Kōtuku came from the heavens, the pet of Io-matua-kore. In one story, it guides Tāne or Māui to the 12th heaven to seek the baskets of knowledge. The Poutama pattern inside the waka references the stairway to the heavens.

The Kōtuku is a solitary bird as it spends most of its time alone, together only once a year to breed. The population was decimated at the turn of the 20th century, as its plumage was particularly sought after to decorate ladies’ hats. On the brink of extinction, a handful of dedicated people nursed the population back to a healthy 150 breeding pairs.

Like us, the Kōtuku lives off the ocean, a finite resource. It is a reminder to manage the seas with great care and respect, and avoid polluting the ocean and contaminating nature’s food chain. A little effort can make positive change for our shared environment.

– Dion Hitchens

Dion Hitchens

born 1970, lives and works in Auckland
Tuhoe, Ngati Porou, Chinese, English, Scottish

Dion Hitchens considers that his sculptures function as icons on a landscape, helping to signify the ‘unseen’ and allowing access to the stories, values and philosophies that shape communities, businesses and individuals. His work engages the ‘space between’ our personal paradigms – a space informed by both culture and philosophical values. It explores the connection between all things (Whakapapa) and engages with how the past can inform the future and art can create dialogues across cultural histories.

Dion Hitchens has a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Elam School of Fine Arts at The University of Auckland and a Postgraduate Diploma from AUT University, Auckland. Recent exhibitions include NZ Sculpture on the Shore (2016), Whenua Ora, Waikato Museum (2015) and Paul Nache Gallery (2015). Hitchens work is in the collections of Te Papa Tongarewa The Museum of New Zealand, Waikato Museum, Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki and Auckland and Hamilton Councils.