Mahiriki Tangaroa


Mahiriki Tangaroa
is a graduate of the Ilam School of Fine Arts, Canterbury University (1997), New Zealand.  Finding inspiration in pre-colonial artefacts, legend and folklore, her research centres on the Cook Islands God of the Ocean, Tangaroa, the God of Agriculture and War, Rongo, and the unnamed Aitutaki goddess. Her works primarily address social evolution and identity from a modern Pacific perspective.

In an ongoing series of paintings, Tangaroa explores concepts of contemporary Pacific culture utilizing these traditional Cook Islands Gods. The Gods are depicted in their legendary human guise, confronted with the challenges of preserving cultural integrity in a modern milieu.

Mahiriki Tangaroa has an engaging style of painting and an important narrative, as curator Arthur Buerms noted in 2019. ‘Each of the paintings is a visual feast catapulting you to a campfire where old stories, about the dangerous heights of the mysterious mountains, the spirits of the ever encircling sea, the expressive radiance of the fauna and flora, are told while dancing and eating. The evolution of her artwork can be read as a metaphorical voyage: Tangaroa’s journey, a voyage of the Cooks Islands as a constructed nation and her own personal voyage as a driving force in modern Pacific art.’

Mahiriki Tangaroa has been a catalyst for Rarotonga’s arts community for the past 20 years, exhibiting regularly and organising multiple international artist residencies and training workshops for established and aspiring artists. Her extensive exhibition history includes shows in Rarotonga, Auckland, Dunedin, Christchurch, Sydney, New York and Stockholm.

All prices in New Zealand Dollars (NZD), global delivery. 


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