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New Zealand: Gordonton – Dancing with Captain James Cook in Zealong Sculpture Garden

Captain James Cook (1778-1729) was a British adventurer who explored New Zealand. The indigenous Maori introduced him to the manuka plant as a medicinal tea. It reminded him of home.

New Zealand: Gordonton – One Dragon Teapot in Gordonton, NZ

In Asia dragons and teapots are very popular for centuries. At the Zealong Tea Estate sculpture garden you learn about oolong teas and teas around the world.

New Zealand: Gordonton – Tea Pots Dragon at Zealong Tea Estate, New Zealand

A favorite sculpture in the Zealong Tea Estate sculpture garden was this long tea pot dragon with the estate building in the rear.

New Zealand: Gordonton – Sculpture of Famous Tea sage in Gordonton, NZ

It was a surprise to us to learn that there were tea sages. Here’s a sculpture of Lu Yu who performed this work way back in 733-804. Since he lived to 71, unusual back in those days, perhaps the tea is anti-aging?

New Zealand: Gordonton – Tea Worker Sculpture, New Zealand

You get an idea of the work involved in bringing tea to the table at the Zealong Tea Estate in Gordonton, NZ. Here the sculptures are getting some help from the travel media.

New Zealand: Auckland – Colin McCahon Foremost Artist in New Zealand

1919 was the centennial year of artist Colin McCahon’s birth so the Auckland Art Gallery set up an full exhibit of the breadth of his work, McCahon said of his work, “My painting is almost autobiographical. It tells you where I am at any given time” His type of art shifts as he moves to new locations. McCahon was a driving force for art in NZ; He helped run the Auckland CityArt gallery, installed exhibitions, taught art classes and painted too.

New Zealand: Auckland – Graphic Art by Colin McCahon, New Zealand

Born in 1919, Colin McCahon was a driving force for art in NZ. The Auckland Art Gallery set up an full exhibit of the breadth of his work, McCahon said of his work, “My painting is almost autobiographical. It tells you where I am at any given time” He lived in 3 different geographic areas of New Zealand and you can see his art shift when his eye meets a new location.

New Zealand: Auckland – Photo of Tattoo Artist (Tohunga) at work

Tohunga or tattoo artists are still at work in New Zealand creating the symbolic intricate body tattoos for the Maori people. You can see these photos in the Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki’s Living Portrait gallery.

New Zealand: Auckland – To-hunga-ta-moto: Tattoo Artists at Work

Found this painting of tattooing, the most interesting of Gottfried Lindauer’s paintings in the Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki’s Living Portrait gallery. Only the most important tattoo artists (Tohunga) are allowed to create and maintain the integrity of the facial tattoo art form. This work is being done on a porch while a young tribal leader lies on a whariki, a special mat allowed for those high rank. His head rests on lap of the Tohunga while his hands are clenched in obvious discomfort. The other gentleman is also a Tohunga and he is chanting rituals for a safe and successful completion of  the pawaha, the creation of the important tatooed facial lines.

New Zealand: Auckland – Hanging City in Auckland NZ Art Gallery

Thirty-nine per cent of people living in the NZ area were born somewhere else. In 2018, artists Alfredo and Isabel Aquilizan created Pillars: Project Another Country to expound on human migration across oceans, displacement, relocation and settlement. When you move from one place to another, how do you become part of a community, what constitutes your family, and how are houses/homes built around these needs and relationships? The Aquilizans were born in the Philippines, work between Manila and Brisbane, so they very well understand the conversation about ‘belonging’ and what people call ‘home’. This huge hanging upside-down sculpture shows people falling out of a boat and creating homes.