Artist Profile: Warren McGrath



Ngati Ruru, Raukawa ki Wharepuuhunga

Carver

Warren is based in Ngaruawahia where he has lived with his wife Victoria and his six children for the past sixteen years.
Warren completed his apprenticeship as a carpenter in the Maori affairs pre-apprentice trade-training programme in Hamilton. He has trained in Whakairo Rakau under the mantel of Te Ranga Waananga Whakairo based in Hamilton, and one of the King movements strongest traditional components in the art of Whakairo Rakau. It was here that Warren was taught the spiritual, holistic and physical embodiments of the craft.

In 1990 Warren was the award recipient of the 1990 Combative medal in recognition of services to New Zealand for his involvement and dedication to the craft of Whakairo Rakau.
Warren completed a Bachelors programme with Te Waananga O Aotearoa. He graduated with top honours and top of his class. He has exhibited throughout New Zealand and has produced works for both national and international clients.

Warren draws his inspiration from the ancient carving styles and oral histories of Tainui waka and associated iwi. He has recently incorporated contemporary mediums such as copper, stainless steel and brass into his work.
One of Warren’s career highlights has been charged with the construction of two new waka for the Maori King, King Tuuheitia. Both waka were launched at a dawn ceremony on May 2nd 2007. Warren has also designed and constructed the Tomokanga (carved entrance) for Pier B, at Auckland International Airport.