Artist Profile: Jack Brooking

Ngati Porou

Jack lives in Te Araroa on the East Coast. He officially started his training in traditional Maori carving in 1990 as a trainee on the Awatere Marae Carving Project. His training period on that particular project was three years. During that time Jack was also contracted as a chisel-hand for a large government commission, which helped to advance his chisel skills. Before and during both projects, Jack’s bush skills and knowledge were utilised for retrieval and processing of the raw materials required for carving.

With his natural knowledge of timbers, Jack developed a talent for creating traditional Maori weapons. His work comes highly recommended by many experts in traditional Maori weaponry. Jack has the skill to fashion weapons in such a way that the result is a well-balanced and intricately carved piece of usable art. Indeed, his weapons are not only display items, but are also very functional.

Jack has continued assisting in many commissioned projects; these have included work on Ruataupare Meeting House of Tuparoa, and Tumatauenga the Meeting House at Waiouru Military Camp.

In September 2012, Jack was invited to Florence and London to view Cook’s Collection and assist in identifying materials, design and techniques aimed at establishing connections the Taonga have with each other and their historic significance.