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

  • 24 January 2023

    From Kenya to Aotearoa - Toi and its many connection's

    Jennifer Dickerson, a self-proclaimed "Third Culture Kid" due to her unique upbringing around the world, has discovered who she is through art.

  • 19 December 2022

    Masters opens door to book project

    Juggling work as Communications Advisor for Te Wānanga o Aotearoa while completing his masters, and writing a book has meant Tracey Cooper’s plate has been rather full recently. Fortunately with his exegesis completed, book published and work in wind-down mode for Christmas he’s able to take a breather and reflect on his journey through study.

  • 15 December 2022

    ‘Rererangi ki te Ao’ Opens doors at Kirikiriroa Airport

    Te Wānanga o Aotearoa Kairuruku and Pouwhenua Whakairo (master carver), Professor Kereti G. Rautangata, (nō Ngāti Mahanga, Ngāti Koroki Kahukura) and his team of carvers have left their mark on a significant piece of the Waikato landscape.

  • 14 December 2022

    Making a difference with mau rākau

    Tamiaho Searancke, who started learning the art of mau rākau at age three from his kuia and kaumatua, has guided another cohort of tauira through their journey of learning the ancient Māori martial art.