Acrylic on Canvas, 51 x 51cm.

Darcy Nicholas was born and raised in Waitara, Taranaki, and spent most of his formative years learning from the teachings of his Mother’s Taranaki Tribes.

“As a child I often spent hours looking at the clouds and seeing different shapes in them. And when I looked at the mountain I would think of Tamarau, Rongoueroa and Awanui”

The patriarch of the Te Atiawa tribe is Tamarau Te Heketanga-a-rangi, and his son was Awanui-a-rangi. The mother of Awanui was Rongoueroa. Tamarau came from the Kahui Ao People, and was somewhat of a mysterious character. This painting portrays a spiritual impression of Tamarau looking over the Mountain, Taranaki. Awanui-a-rangi, being Tamarau’s son, is the face that is within his forehead. Nicholas mentions that the style of this type of painting had its beginnings after seeing Michaelangelo’s work at the Sistine Chapel in the early 1980’s. It’s a memory that Nicholas still reflects on as awesome. Tamarau and Rongoueroa are also the two feature carvings that Nicholas created for his family Marae (Kairau) in Matarikoriko, near Waitara. The Mountain, Taranaki, is a prominent figure in the background to this Marae, lending further context to the painting.