- The idea of ‘art’ being a European concept is an important aspect to think about when viewing the works of both Pakeha and Maori visual culture about the time of colonization. European journals and writings better displayed the history and culture of the settlers more than the oral narratives (Anderson, 132). This means that Maori culture was more seen from an outsiders perspective. As art is a westernized idea, the indigenous views was less praised by people compared to the European artist views. Throughout the 19th and 20th Centuries this type of art was also seen as primitive art, not being among the mainstream art world (Wheki,7). Thus being displayed within international or even national galleries was and remains to have a rare appearance.
A 20th Century Art Example with a Maori worldview:
The sculpture is a Maori response to the modernist movement during the 20th Century. The clean and simplified form gives similarities to the works of the famous sculptor Constantin Brâncusi. The subject of the work is based on the prophet and land rights activist Rue Kenana whose one his main purposes was to reclaim the Tuhoe land taken by the European settlers. This occurred at the beginning of the 19oo’s where in the past century much of tapu tribal land was confiscated from the Maori settlers. This time in history has mainly been brodcasted through early Pakeha artworks and scriptures.
Anderson, Atholl, Judith Binney, and Aroha Harris. “Chapter 5: In the Foreign Gaze” Tangata whenua: An Illustrated History. Pages 132- 159. Bridget Williams Books, 2014. Print.
Wheoki, J.M. “Art Histories in Aotearoa New Zealand.” Journal of Art Historiography 4 (2011):1-12. Print.