Tuhoe in Blue by Phillip Waddington
Oil on canvas, framed
“The Flax is just suggested in this painting of Tangi Tamarau, which she grew all around her house in Kutarere (now a marae). She regularly used this flax for her weaving. I still have a mat and basket (kete) that she wove for me.”
Petone artist Phillip Waddington finds inspiration for painting everywhere. As a keen observer of nature, people and the places occupied by both, he has created a body of work using a variety of techniques and materials. He has the ability to capture the essence of the subject and reflect this back to the viewer in a very engaging way. Although the unique flora and fauna of New Zealand are of special interest, Phillip is equally skilled in portraiture. Perhaps the portraits he is most well known for are those of the last of the Māori women with the traditional facial tattoo (moko) whom he met during his travels through the Ureweras as a young man. Subjects for paintings often come from Phillip’s observations of people in everyday life. He built a lasting rapport with several of these (and more recent) portrait subjects. He has developed a painting style influenced by two great masters, Rembrandt and C F Goldie, and has also continued in the footsteps of Goldie by recording through his art, engaging and important visual records of the Māori moko tradition. His Māori oil portraits justifiably earned Phillip the nickname The Living Goldie.