Wi Taepa

Wi Taepa | Clay Sculptor
Art Talk | 11:15am – 11:55pm
Workshop | 1pm – 3pm Wi Taepa Clay Sculpting Workshop Rm3
3:30pm – 6pm Wi Taepa Clay Sculpting Workshop Rm4
(Ngāti Pikiao, Te-Roro-o- Te-Rangi, Te Arawa and Te Āti Awa)
Renowned for his ceramic work, Wi Taepa's imagery evolved from his Māori heritage and the designs of the past. Wi
comes from a line of Te Arawa master carvers and with his uncle, Taunu Tai Taepa carved the pulpit in Rangiatea Church,
Otaki. Wi is one of five original members of Nga Kaihanga Uku, a group of Maori clayworkers founded in 1987; before this Maori
clayworkers had worked in isolation. Although clay is not a traditional Māori medium, Wi believes it is ideal for expressing
Māori cultural values.
Wi shapes clay by hand to make his vessels and sculptures using coil, pinch and slab methods to create form, texture and
surface patterning. Over time Wi has redesigned kowhaiwhai, tukutuku and weaving patterns to suit the development of
his ideas and philosophy. His work is held in private collections in the United States, England, Europe, Africa, and Samoa.
He has exhibited widely in New Zealand as well as in the South Pacific, England, the USA, and Zimbabwe which he visited in
1995 as part of an extensive research trip. Although his main influence is Māori and New Zealand culture, Wi cites other
influences, such as Lapita pottery and the work of native American, African, and Fijian potters.