John Bevan Ford
Aotearoa New Zealand, b.1930, d.2005
Ngāti Raukawa Ki Kapiti, Māori
Spöring’s View of Motuaro (from the Endeavour, 1769)
- Pigmented inks
- Purchased, 1994
- 1080 x 880mm
Location: Touring Gallery B
Tags: Maori (culture or style), cloaks, hills, landscapes (representations), patterns (design elements), rainbows, stripes
Spöring’s View of Motuaro (from the Endeavour, 1769) is from John Bevan Ford’s Ngā Tohunga Waka (expert navigators) series, and recalls the coastal landscape drawings of Herman Spöring, an artist on board Captain Cook’s ship Endeavour. Ford’s delicate and intricate ink drawings take customary Māori art forms such as whakairo (carving), raraka (weaving) and kōwhaiwhai (rafter paintings) as their starting point. His work often engages with cross-cultural dialogue; here the European scientific depictions of coastal landscapes, seen at the bottom, are enveloped by a colourful kākahu (cloak form), a symbol of protection the acknowledges the long presence of Māori, as takata whenua, and the mana they hold over the land.
(Die Cuts and Derivations, 11 March – 2 July 2023)
Art Detectives, 20 October 2006 - 25 March 2007
A rainbow coloured peke (Maori rain cape) floats above an outline of rocky hills as seen from a distant ship. Here, Maori artist John Bevan Ford recalls drawings by Herman Spöring, an artist on board Captain Cook’s ship Endeavour in 1769 at the Bay of Islands.
Ford was inspired by his time spent at the British Museum in the 1980s studying Maori taonga or treasures, including weaving and carvings collected by Cook. While referring to European exploration, this drawing also speaks of a long presence for Maori in this land, with the peke a symbol of mana and protection.