‘Kaitiaki’ – a caretaker of the land – Mixed Media Painting

Mixed Media on Flax Paper
350 mm x 440 m
13 1/4″ x 17 1/4″
© Susan Harrison-Tustain

A chance meeting lead me to create this painting. I met Wallace Aramoana while I was visiting Ohiwa Harbour, near Ohope Beach, New Zealand. This is a man whose impact on his community, land and the youth of the area is legendary in that corner of NZ. My painting of Wallace was created on flax paper. I wanted it to capture his connection to the land. I wanted this to be a tribute to this man of the land and a man of his people. The New Zealander. Wallace believes this land is for everyone. Meeting this Maori elder was a life-changing experience for me. I wanted to title the painting “The Orator”, but his reply was “No – that would be about me – I would like it to be about all of my people – ‘Kaitiaki ‘ (translates to Caretakers of the land. )

How perfect that title is. It also relays the respect and admiration I have for this man. To paint him is an honor for me.

Click here to visit my painting exhibition page where you can find details on the exhibition including a sneak preview of some of my exhibition oil and watercolor paintings.

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