Te Mata from the Shed [pc]*


On the way back from Ocean Beach you drive over the hills on the eastern side of the TukiTuki valley. Just over the crest at the top there is a safe parking place, where many people stop, to take in the magnificent view of the voluptuous hills and craggy range, with Te Mata Peak (399ft above sea level) on the southern end, from which can be seen 360 degree views: Napier & Mahia Peninsula to the north & east, hill country to the south and east, and the Ruahine, Kaweka & Maungaharuru ranges beyond the fertile Heretaunga Plains. Mt Ruapehu is often visible in the distance.

I had taken several photos from this spot looking both south and north and these started the Tuki Tuki Series paintings. It was mid-summer, very hot and the river level was low and there were reflections in the water. To enhance this effect, I widened the river and also moved the covered shed from the far-right mid-ground to the mid-left to make a better composition.

I also made an imaginary shed – I like the feeling of mystery when you are looking through a window or a door. This resulted in a pleasing painting which sold within minutes of the exhibition opening.
The peak is steeped Maori legend. It is said that Maori chief Te Mata fell in love with the daughter of his rival, the Heretaunga chief. To prove his worthiness and win the beautiful Maori maiden’s love, Te Mata accepted a series of near-impossible challenges. The handsome chief choked and died attempting his final task, which was to eat his way through this rocky range. Te Mata Peak depicts the outline of his prostrate body – It is called ‘The sleeping Giant’ by locals.

Signed Limited Edition F/A prints available on request.

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