Skip Content
Graham Nathan and Anthony Dunn

Whangārei tauira little things win big

Two Taitokerau whakairo tauira have won major awards at the Whangārei Sculpture Symposium.

The work of Graham Nathan and Anthony Dunn, both former Te Wānanga o Aotearoa tauira in Whangārei, won the Te Au Mārie Trust journeys theme prize of $4,000 at the symposium held last week.

The biennial event this year invited artists to create a form that relates to the sestercentennial (250th anniversary) of the Lieutenant James Cook-captained Endeavour’s exploration of the Taitokerau coast.

Graham and Anthony, both of whom were tutored by Te Kuiti Stewart in whakairo, created three figurines titled He Tangata, He Tangata, He Tangata.

The artwork represented the coming together of Lt Cook, his Rapa Nui translator Tupaea and Māori.

“The underlying theme for us is that once you get past the symbols and the surface - like our religions and our skin colour – there’s a deeper meaning. If you look past these symbols below the skin we are all cut from the same stone,” said Graham.

“We all aspire for the same things for our mokopuna and our world. We want to speak to that kotahitanga and accept each other for our individuality and that’s a discussion that needs to be had.”

While the pair have both exhibited their toi through mahi whakairo in the past, this was their first symposium.

They had also never worked with stone before.

Graham and Anthony’s work will be installed at the Bay of Islands Airport next year.

The pair also won the Quest Hotel-sponsored ‘people’s choice’ award.

 Back to news & events

Published On:

Article By:



Other Articles

  • 19 March, 2020

    Important updates on COVID-19 response

    The health and safety of our tauira and their whānau are paramount for Te Wānanga o Aotearoa. We're taking all necessary precautions in our wānanga to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

  • 13 March, 2020

    Ancient Māori methods for new fitness coaching programme

    The way of the warrior involved tests of fitness, agility and mental sharpness. And now these traditional methods Māori used to maintain their health and wellbeing are being offered as a pathway into the fitness coaching industry.

  • 13 March, 2020

    Mātauranga Māori and western science a winning combination

    Mātauranga Māori (Māori knowledge) and science have combined to help restore kaimoana stocks in Ōhiwa Harbour.

  • 13 March ,2020

    Stepping stone to stage success

    Aspiring actors, directors, musicians and creatives need look no further than their own backyard for their inspiration, a Kawerau kaiako says.