Grant Takle

Aotearoa New Zealand, b.1962

More Than Colonial Furniture

  • Purchased, 1997
  • Mixed media
  • 1481 x 508 x 27mm
  • 97/35
  • 1997

In More Than Colonial Furniture Grant Takle presents a nightmarish vision of New Zealand’s cultural heritage. The work deals with issues of race, the political balance of power, cultural identity and economic sovereignty, with reference to the early European colonisation of New Zealand. A tree stump and decapitated Māori warrior’s head dominate the image, symbolising the loss of both land and cultural identity. However, while the foliage has been cut off, the tree’s roots remain and it will continue to grow. This is a reference to the current renaissance of Māori culture. This work belongs to the contemporary New Zealand figurative style in which objects from popular culture are used as association-rich symbols in a dialogue on New Zealand postcolonial society. Born in Christchurch, Takle studied at the University of Canterbury. He began exhibiting in 1987 and has received numerous grants and awards for his work, which is represented in major collections throughout the country.