Sofia Minson hopes viewers experience qualities of their own nature, reflecting back to them through her "Sacred Mirrors" exhibition opening at Parnell Gallery tomorrow. The Ngāti Porou artist's works bear the names of ancestors and mythological deities from Māori, Egyptian, Hindu and Christian cosmology.
The large contemporary paintings are charged with ancient symbols and images of gods and goddesses. Several of which are female portraits.
“A thread of mana wāhine, or the divine feminine, runs through them,” she says.
“The women embody qualities of the guardian of the underworld Hine-nui-te-pō, the Egyptian goddess Isis, mother Mary in Christian theology and a Ngāpuhi princess who was painted by Goldie over a century ago.”
Having grown up in New Zealand, Samoa, Sri Lanka and China due to her father’s engineering project management work she became interested in the connections between diverse people, cultures and religions.
She says on returning home to New Zealand it was painting the myths, land and people of Aotearoa that helped strengthen her links to her Māori roots.
“In this fast-paced digital world, painting these awe-inspiring characters was both grounding and uplifting”, she says.
“[I] hope they can provide a sense of connection for other people as well.”
Minson is of Ngāti Porou, Swedish, English and Irish heritage.
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