written by Brian Brake
Raupo Publishing NZ | ISBN 9780143565468
Paperback – 152 pages
Member’s price: $35.96
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To Maori, the governing principle of mauri brings to all objects the power and prescience of a living spirit. Objects that are hand-crafted from wood, stone, shell, bone or pounamu are imbued with life by their creators. Conveying the mauri of an object through photography requires an exceptional talent, one focused on distilling the essential energy of the original piece through shades of lighting, position and perspective. This is what Brian Brake achieved. The photos in this collection constitute the best of Brake's photographic journey into the world of the Maori. Drawn from work completed for an array of commissions, the images include both those that travelled the world and those rarely seen before. Iconic images of Uenuku and Pukaki take their place alongside representations of humble daily objects. Taken as a whole, they form a celebration of diversity and richness in artistic expression, encompassing carved houses and woven panels, sculpture and tools, ornaments and jewellery, ritual objects and weapons. Recognised as New Zealand's greatest photographer, Brake pursued his passion for the visual image across every continent, but his love for the country of his birth remained unshakeable. Featuring contributions from Witi Ihimaera and Ngahuia Te Awekotuku, Maori Art: The Photography of Brian Brake makes a statement not only of Maori art history but also the career of a man who sought perfection in photographic endeavour.