Nga Tuupuna o te whenua

Muru, Selwyn
Circa 1990
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Object Detail

Selwyn Muru is a painter, sculptor, orator, author, director and broadcasting pioneer. Nga Tūpuna o te Whenua can be translated as Land of the Ancestors. This work is from a set of 20 lithographs by prominent NZ artists and produced by Muka Studio to commemorate New Zealand’s sesquicentennial (150th) celebration in 1990.

As a senior artist Muru’s work has forged a path for generations of younger Māori artists exploring themes of cultural expression. His paintings were included in some of the earliest exhibitions of contemporary Māori art alongside other important 20th century artists such as Ralph Hotere and Cliff Whiting. He has represented New Zealand in overseas exhibitions, and his work is in major art collections including Te Papa Tongarewa.

Muru’s plays include The Gospel According to Tane and Get the Hell Home Boy, which are some of the earliest by a Māori author. He has advised Jane Campion during the making of the Oscar winning film The Piano; and appeared in the Māori language film version of The Merchant of Venice – Te Tangata Whai Rawa o Weneti.

As an educationalist he was a Senior Lecturer at the University of Auckland and established Te Toi Hou, the Māori art department.

As a Māori orator and repository of tribal knowledge, he has been a public speaker and advocate for Māori issues on countless tribal, national and international occasions, including being an honorary kaumatua for the Auckland Art Gallery, and speech writer for the Queen.
5 colour lithograph
Image: hxw; 505 x 700mm
Frame: hxwxd; 770 x 940 x 45mm
Breadth 20mm
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