Issue/12/
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public art report

NEW ZEALAND

Amidst Seas and Skies

 BY William McAIoon


Mural by Dick Frizzell, Harrah's Sky City, Auckland. Photograph Patrick Reynolds.

It seems waka (Maori canoes) are everywhere in New Zealand these days, a growing flotilla of representations of a bi- and increasingly multicultured identity. In the late nineteenth century, Pakeha artists such as Charles Goldie and Louis Steele co-opted the waka and received histories of Polynesian migration as metaphors through which to establish an identity for European New Zealand. In the late twentieth century, the waka has been transformed into another image…

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