Para Matchitt

Aotearoa New Zealand, b.1933
Ngati Porou, Te Whānau ā Apanui, Te Whakatōhea, Māori

Heart Of Steel

  • Purchased, 1995
  • Mixed media
  • 2800 x 915 x 830mm
  • 95/09
  • 1994

Combining western methods and materials with traditional Maori motifs, Heart of Steel features the 'pierced heart' used by the Maori prophet Te Kooti and the Ringatu religion to express the anguish of colonisation. Matchitt used this symbol, and the other shapes he has cut into the steel, because of their global significance in popular culture. The industrial materials suggest the world of modern construction while the tall, hand-sawn totara beam echoes the shape of traditional Maori palisade posts and refers to the impact of the sawmill on native forests. Despite its impressive scale, Heart of Steel is surprisingly delicate, representing beauty as well as resilience.