Kerry Thompson - Kauri Stern Post Framed

Kerry Thompson - Kauri Stern Post Framed


Artist / Carver: Kerry Thompson 

Material: hand carved out of swamp kauri, ( which is known to be around 40,000 years old), black ink, glass framed. 

Dimension: H 570mm x L350mm


Story of the product: 

The Stern Post ( Taurapa) is the upright structural member of a Maori Waka Taua ( War Canoe). The Waka Taua was used only for war. The waka itself was highly tapu( sacred), no woman or food were allowed in the cannoe. Behaviour in and around the canoe was highly ritualised, a breach of which could result in death. The Prow, Stern and Side Panels were ornately carved, reflecting the style of the particular tribe. 

As a whole the waka starts with the creation story at the taiuhu ( Prow) extends along the rauawa ( Side Panels) depicting the turbulent struggle between spirit and mortal worlds and culminates at the taurapa ( Stern) showing mans relationship with life and death. 

The Stern is decorated with spirals and manaia depicting the conflict of the spirit world and the world of light or man. 

- From N to Z 


Story of the Artist: 

Kerry has been carving for thirty years in many materials and is possibly the leading artist working in bone. Although he attended a diploma course in Māori design at Waiariki Polytechnic in Rotorua and had some help from Hepi Maxwell, Rex Christianson and other artists working in the same materials, he is mainly self taught, developing his own style and two-tone staining process, that is easy to 
In 1992, he was a jade tutor for the Whangaroa Trust in Kaeo, New Zealand, and, with a grant through Te Waka Toi in 1994, became a full-time artist working primarily in jade and bone. He still produces the most ornate “wearable art” in varied media but has recently created larger, more challenging sculptural mask and figurative forms, and inlaid flutes, delicate heru (decorative ceremonial combs), carved vessels and small sculptures. His art is contemporary yet incorporates elements of Māori design, such as the koru (unfurling fern frond) and the matau (fish hook), that feature his complex curvilinear forms. His work has been collected and exhibited both in New Zealand and overseas.