Artist Profile: Robin Slow



Ko Parapara te maunga (mountain)
Ko Mohua te taki wa (area)
Ko Te Tai Tapu te moana (ocean)
Ko Te Waikoropupu te awa (river)
Ko Onetahua te marae (tribal home)
Ko Te Ao Marama te whare (meeting house)
Ko Robin Slow taku ingoa (name)

Painter

Robin trained as a commercial artist before completing a teaching diploma with an art major at Christchurch Teachers’ College.
Over 25 years he has completed visual art-based teaching at Golden Bay High School and since 1991 he has worked with whanau (family) at Onetahua Marae producing murals, traditional instruments, kowhaiwhai and carving, culminating in the completion of the wharenui, Te Ao Marama.
Teaching within the visual arts has been Robin’s main focus and in turn has become a learning environment where he has had opportunity to expand on his own work. Through the teaching and learning process and living in Mohua, contact and interaction with whanau of Onetahua Marae has been made possible.

Support and guidance from the whanau of Onetahua Marae has been Robin’s greatest influence. The opportunity to work with people from throughout Aotearoa, artists and students alike, attracted to the heart of Mohua has been inspiring. A large number of different hui have been held and attended reflecting the large whariki that goes in to expressions of visual forms. During this time most completed art works have been through the Marae. The Marae has become the pivotal point and one of the results from this are the art works either completed on a whanau basis or on an individual level. The completed art works are part of a whole, a journey in itself and not just an expression of that artistic journey.

“I am influenced by the area, the people, the natural resources (and the protection of them), the histories and stories that go to make Mohua (Golden Bay) a special place.”