With this work I really wanted to push the levels and translucency of the piece adjusting to the fractures which informed the final shape.
It is an extended form of Manaia Pekapeka. The name is attributed to a species of bat in Aotearoa. It is also seen to represent two intertwined bird forms or guardians working between the physical and spiritual realm .
The attached koru pieces extend the overall form with the same wire used to bind it together.
For this piece I was aware of the fracture that went throughout the kōhatu, instead of creating two smaller pieces and avoiding the fracture I decided to create a single piece, letting the kohatu break naturally as I carve the intricate design of the Manaia. I placed the fracture where the top of the arm was giving it a breaking point which made sense.
This piece takes into account the wairua of the kōhatu as well as addressing elements of the brief such as rough and smooth. It could also be nuanced in meaning with the splitting of the piece alluding to a breach of tikanga. It is also indicative of the manaia itself which is said to live in both the spiritual and physical realms, a breaking of the mania is symbolic of the loss of the spiritual aspect when dealing with kōhatu, particularly artefacts displayed within museums.
With this piece I wanted the kohatu to inform the design and feel. Having the translucent spot as the backbone of the figure (pūkaiora) gives it a sense of additional life-force . I have designed it in a way to optimise its strength, allowing the fractures to inform rather than hinder. I have incorporated elements of a Mere and Wahaika, creating something unique, touching on tradition but another form entirely.
This work is a heru with the form of the taniwha central, carved onto both sides. The taniwha is a representation of the mauri of a place in physical form. As the pounamu resides within and by bodies of water the affinity the kōhatu has with the taniwha reinforces the wairua of the piece.
While creating this piece the fractures of the stone were evident and traditionally the method of binding would involve muka and lashing however I chose to use wire. Metal tools and wire were colonial introductions. It is what holds the piece together but also creates a contrast.
The translucent of the stone and the energy light gives to it were also in the forefront of my mind. There is a luster to the wire but it does not have the same energy and of course translucency.