An Artist's Journeys in Nature

Matariki

Fern Frond Unfolding - PencilMatariki is the Maori name for The Pleiades, and it means the ‘eyes of god’ (mata ariki) or ‘little eyes’ (mata riki).

The Polynesian adventurers who discovered and colonised New Zealand about the end of the first century AD were extremely conversant with the planets and their passages.

It was this knowledge, plus an observation of the flight paths of migratory birds, that enabled them to undertake huge voyages across the Pacific Ocean – initially from west to east, and later back in a southwesterly direction to find the islands that they were to name ‘Aotearoa’ or ‘Land of The Long White Cloud”.

The rising of the Pleiades (late May early June in Aotearoa New Zealand) is regarded as the Maori New Year, and it is a time for celebrating a new start.

Traditionally, it was a time for remembering the dead, and celebrating new life.

To this symbol, I  added the Koru or unfurling fern frond, a favorite subject for me – also a very strong symbol for birth and new beginnings.

And of course, Matariki is a great time for the burgeoning of artistic endeavor, too.

koru-matariki_700
Digital design work created using the Bezier Pen Tool (vector).  Below is my original pencil drawing, done from an unfurling fern frond with the aid of a botanical magnifying glass.

koru1

This post is a follow-up to a reference made in “The Journey“.

Patricia

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One response

  1. Pingback: The Journey | Patricia Howitt Art Blog

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