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- Artist Bio
This is a welcoming home of the Toi Moko heads that were traded between Maori and Pakeha and found their way into overseas ownership and institutions. The image says "welcome home" but it also says "all is forgiven". Forgiveness for those who made the heads and sold them and those who bought or stole them and forgiveness also for the despised slaves and enemies the heads originally belonged to. Head hunting has romantic connotations of adventure and heroic context but that romance is juxtaposed against the disturbing truths of a dark trade. This is an another image where I draw a line in the sand about my rights as a Pakeha New Zealander to express spiritual and cultural connection to the deeper emotional fields of our history and social structure. The desire of some people to hide Toi Moko and their images is a bending of history and a claiming of it as personal property or personal domain is not acceptable to my ideals of freedom of speech and self expression. Maori and Pakeha both might share a concern as to how they left these shores but surely we may also share a desire to have them return to the land of their birth. "Welcome home, welcome home, rest in peace."
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*Fine Art Print, Unlimited Edition.
Lester was born in Wellington, New Zealand in 1956 and has been self supporting through his art for the last twenty years. He has painted and studied New Zealand history and Maori - European - Pacific centric artwork all of that time.
My printed works are a collection of what the last 20 years of my life has taught me…not to mention what being brought up in White living rooms has given me.
I could prattle on here about what art and where etc I have done but apart from saying that my Tapa paintings represent a bedding in for me of my status as a Pacific Islander stats about me hold little interest.
I prefer in this context some specificity as to my nature and my drivers as the race relations commentary I make is often misconstrued as either White supremacist or Maori centric.
I consider myself an outsider artist, social commentator first and my art is a vehicle for my thoughts and philosophies and aspirations for my country. My art is a conversation with myself and represents moving thought not static dogma. My prints are not numbered and I change them to reflect or emphasise my thoughts whenever I choose to.