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

  • 3 June, 2020

    Hamilton deputy mayor carrying torch for te reo

    A desire as a political leader to respect and support te reo is helping fuel Geoff Taylor’s drive to learn more of the language.

  • 26 May, 2020

    Cycles of crisis and Māori resilience

    At Te Wānanga o Aotearoa we are proud of our history and mindful that we are beneficiaries of the foresight and vision of our founding kuia and kaumātua.

  • 22 May, 2020

    Te Wānanga o Aotearoa and the TEC renew commitment to partnership

    The Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) and Te Wānanga o Aotearoa (TWoA) have renewed their commitment to work together in a partnership that is based upon Te Tiriti o Waitangi and focused on learners across Aotearoa.

  • 8 May, 2020

    Dante writes a bright future

    Italian poet Dante was famous for his vision of hell. Dante O’Driscoll from Patetonga is eyeing a far more rosy future, with help from the Waikato-based Youth Services team at Te Wānanga o Aotearoa.