Artist Profile: Robyn Kahukiwa



Robyn Kahukiwa
Ngati Porou

Robyn Kahukiwa is one of New Zealand’s foremost Maori women artists living today. Robyn began painting at the kitchen table when her children were small. Her intention was to replace for them the modern stereotypes of Maori with strong role models to give Maori people in general an accessible, contemporary reflection of their culture.

Robyn’s work has been exhibited nationally and internationally and is in the collections of many art galleries but she has determinedly remained independent of art fashion. These days, she is herself considered an art icon and role model, a leading voice in contemporary Maori art and an international leader in indigenous art.

While New Zealand struggles to come to terms with the Treaty of Waitangi and settlement issues, Robyn celebrates all the values and strengths of Maori culture in powerfully spiritual depictions of the life (wairua), women and children, the family and their relationships with the land, their myths and legends and their ancestors.

Determined that her art remain accessible to all, she has published books and created a series of collectable prints.