Wairua’s firepit area now has a powerful presence watching over it in the form of “He Uri o Mahuika”.
Maori carver, Joe Kemp, was commissioned to carve this magnificent 2.3 meter high effigy of the Maori goddess of fire. The wood used is macrocarpa, sourced from Tologa Bay on the East Cape of New Zealand, and her eye is made from whale bone.
After landscaping and installation of the fire ring area in August last year, we felt there was something missing – an artwork. While researching online, we came across Joe Kemp and were immediately blown away by the mana of his carvings.
Wanting to see the carvings first-hand, we visited Joe Kemp and his wife Sherie at their workshop and gallery on the shores of Lake Rotoma. Seeing their outdoor gallery, which is on a terraced site behind their house, reinforced our decision to commission Joe to carve a piece for our outdoor firepit area. As a self-taught carver, Joe has found his own non-traditional but distinctly Maori inspired style.
And now “He Uri o Mahuika” stands proudly above the fire ring.
More about Joe Kemp and his artwork: www.joekempsculptor.co.nz