Hero photograph
Krystal Hepetema

Featured Artist - Krystal Hepetema, Year 13

Tauranga Girls' College —


I am currently working towards completing my Level 3 Contemporary Māori Art portfolio board. The theme that I have chosen to work with this year is the legend of Hine-ahu-one. This legend tells the story of Tāne Mahuta who molds a Māori woman, Hine-ahu-one, from the red earth clay of Kurawaka and together they have the first human baby named Hine- titama. When Hine-titama grows older she has children with Tāne Mahuta unaware that he is her Father, she later comes curious of where her Father is and Tāne Mahuta tells her to ask the four walls of the wharenui as they hold all the secrets. Here she learns that Tāne is her father. After gaining this knowledge out of outrage she changes her name to Hine-nui-te-pō and leaves all of her children behind to travel to the underworld where she waits for them to return to her again. This series is the first 3 pieces of art on my folio board and are a representation of Tāne Mahuta and the land from which he later carved Hine-titama. I have used three main colours; dark red to suggest the red clay of Kurawaka, black to symbolise the still land without human life and white to represent the coming to life of the earth. In my first piece I have the moko of Tāne painted of his face with small mountains amongst the lines, this is to show that he was part of the earth. In the next piece he is represented as a taniwha to show that he could also have a more human-like form. Throughout all three pieces there are various representations to show his many forms. 

Following this series I begin to introduce the land carved figure of Hine-titama. I've painted her with vibrant red skin as she was made from red clay and to show that, although she was the most human like of her time she wasn't completely human. I've used overlapping white lines to represent Tane-Mahuta as a taniwha, and next to Hine-titama as a reminder that they will always be connected.

Krystal Artwork #2