Carver’s work on stage
Carver Tristan Marler’s work is about to be seen on stage.
Marler, 22, has collaborated with Te Rehia Theatre’s groundbreaking new play Hoki Mai Tama Ma by Tainui Tukiwaho.
He has been commissioned to carve the masks the three actors will wear.
The masks are embellished with moko kauae and distinctive eyebrows.
The play moves between the day of the Matariki New Year celebrations in rural New Zealand and World War II Italy.
Central to it are the themes of forgiveness and family.
‘‘Creating these masks was really interesting and really quite difficult,’’ Marler says.
‘‘They were all meant to be fullfaced but only one of them is, as it is hard for the actors to be heard through the mouth holes, so both male actors have halffaced masks,’’ he says.
The masks are based on traditional carvings.
Marler’s love of carving and interest in his ancestors grew from a young age from his visits to Matihetihe marae in Mitimiti with his mother and sister ( Auckland City Harbour News, April 2).
Marler was recently commissioned by the New Zealand Institute of Architecture to design and carve a traditional Maori storehouse as part of the inaugural New Zealand pavilion at the Venice Architecture Biennale which is still on show in Italy. Marler, of Te Rarawa descent, is studying a Bachelor of Visual Arts programme at Auckland University of Technology where he is enjoying exploring different art forms.
However, his passion for carving continues. ‘‘I don’t want to carve just for myself.
‘‘I want to carve and continue to learn so I can pass it on to future generations and teach them the traditional way.’’
Clever craftsman: Tristan Marler works on a carving.