- Purchased, 2005
- Gouache and coloured pencil
- 94 x 120mm
In the exhibition White on White (23 November 2008 - 26 October 2009), this work appeared with the following label:
The kotuku lives in other parts of the world (like Asia and the Pacific), but is very rare in New Zealand, with just one permanent population of 100 to 120 birds found near Okarito in South Westland.
In the past, their beautiful long feathers were worn as head-ornaments by important Maori leaders. Sometimes they would keep a bird in a special cage, so that when a new feather grew, someone was waiting and ready to pull it out!
This painting was one of Eileen Mayo’s original designs for a set of cards (Rare and Endangered Birds of New Zealand) collected from packets of Gregg’s jelly.