Ipu "Waka"

Wi Taepa, Artist

This is one of the ceramic artworks in our collection. It was made in Whanganui Region, New Zealand in 1999.
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Object Detail

About the Work
This work was included in Wi's graduation exhibition at the Quay School of the Arts in 1999, another step in more than a decade of his exploring clay as a means of self-expression. Whanganui has been his 'other home' for most of his life.
280 x 290 x 530 mm
raku bodied clay, oxide, gas fired to 1180 C.
"Wi Taepa worked as a carver before he began working with clay. With clay he felt a greater freedom because there were few of the rules that applied to working with wood. The speed of clay work suited him, too – he was able to capture an idea while it was still fresh.
He also enjoyed the unpredictable way the colours of the clay emerged naturally during firing. They included the subtle range of browns, silvers, and greys that come particularly from wood firing. He continues to use a low-tech approach, building his works by hand and using oxides and other clay slips.
Wi’s innovations grow out of his knowledge of customary forms and designs. Many of his works are based on shapes like ipu (containers) that were originally made from gourds, flax, and bark. He has studied the way early Polynesian and Māori artists created patterns of notches and lines, and he recreates the same effects in clay using both man-made and natural tools.
For Wi, the origin of the clay is linked to its eventual use. For example, if he is making a ceremonial ipu (container), he will use some clay from the eventual owner’s ancestral land."
Accessed 28/02/13 from NZ Potters website http://www.nzpotters.com/Conferences/Gisborne/Wi_Te_Tau_Pirika_Taepa.cfm
Credit Line
Collection of the Sarjeant Gallery Te Whare o Rehua Whanganui. Purchased with funds donated by Patrons of the Sarjeant Gallery, 1999.
Collection Type
Permanent collection
Acquisition Date
30 Nov 1999



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