Artist. Designer.

Work – Whakamahi: Whakakotahi


“to set to work, cause to work, operate, put to work, employ, use.”[1]

Acrylic on canvas 1600 x 600mm

The name of this pattern is “Whakakotahi” or working together with the purpose to unify.

The bigger, main orange triangles/arrows in the middle are my wife and I. We are of the same mind, neither better than the other and we are working towards a space of unity. We don’t have to agree on everything. How I hang out the clothes is different to my wife. We brush our teeth differently. But there are some things that do matter, those things we must work on together on to be in one heart and one mind. Sometimes we have to discuss how we are going to approach the kids so we come in a united front.

The blue arrows are our six kids and we would like them to work together with us. In time they will have their own families and our hope is that they will carry some of the values we have tried to instil in them to their own homes and their kids. And the black arrows are the next generation, our mokopuna. We want these values to continue. We have family traditions; they will use some of ours and/or create new ones.

Ok, so working together is a potential, something higher, because when it comes to Saturday clean-the-house-day, in reality, it is not like that. Remember, tukutuku was also created to remind us of an ideal, of somewhere we should aim for. On Saturday’s the use of the other eight tukutuku is imperative for the house to get cleaned.

[1] (accessed 24 April 2020)

I created these, like tukutuku, as a reminder of what the ideal situation should be like. Our intentions is one of working towards these ideals and it works best when all are onboard trying to reach these. Our individuality remains important in being unified in this. Being an individual and unified is an important paradox. It requires all of the principles to reach it and to have happy and successful marriages and families:

PūmauFaithTe Piki ā Rongo
InoiPrayerE tō Mātou Matua Nui te Rangi
RīpenetātangaRepentanceRoimata Toroa
MuruForgivenessHuka Korio
KauanuanuRespectHohou i te Rongo
ArohaLoveNgā Hīhī o te Aroha
Ngākau ArohaCompassionPūpūharakeke
PārekarekaWholesome recreational activitiesTe Whai Wawewawe a Maui

Te Whare Tukutuku explanations: