Topic: Arts

A pot of gold for Māori potter

By Pere Wihongi

Māori Potter Eruera Napia is inspired by stories he grew up with and it shows in his work.

"According to some Māori historians we have maybe 40,000 years of human history.  So I had 40,000 years to draw on.  I started to incorporate this into my pots and the stories I was raised with as a child," says Napia.

The Ngāpuhi artist moved to the US in 1973.  He first settled in Hawaii before moving to Utah to study.

“When I was at university it was pretty stressful.  A friend suggested we take a pottery class.  I had very little involvement in the arts, except kapa haka.  I went to the first class and it hooked me in right at the get-go”.

Today, Napia is an accomplished artist.  His unique work is inspired by indigenous cultures and has featured in magazines and galleries.

“My art is also my autobiography.  Because it draws me back to New Zealand and the things I was raised with”.