National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Presented through the NGV Foundation by Todd Barlin, Governor, 2005
This digital record has been made available on NGV Collection Online through the generous support of The Vizard Foundation
The strongly carved figure, representing an ancestor would be the symbolic central support of the Maori community house. The solidity of the wood itself expresses hardness and substance. The surface decoration conveys energy and movement and the continuing vitality of the ancestor. The face is mesmerising, both ferocious and sensitive, the three-fingered hands comforting yet agile. The carving has short legs yet the composition is compressed, energetic and magnetic.