Sacred Chisel carvers have a long-term plan
Rewi Spraggon likes to plan ahead.
Unlike most people he doesn’t have a five or 10-year plan – but a 400-year plan.
Spraggon is the project manager of the multi-tribe group The Sacred Chisels of Tamaki Makaurau, Nga Whaotapu o Tamaki Makaurau, which includes 16 carvers from the five tribal regions of Auckland.
‘‘The way we think is it’s not just about us. If I can make the Sacred Chisels sustainable, I want that to happen for the four generations ahead of us,’’ Spraggon says.
‘‘Shouldn’t that be what we aim for, to create longevity and meaningful work?’’
The collective formed in July and completed their first commission in September.
The 4.5 metre pare (door lintel) now hangs above the new Auckland Council building entranceway on Albert St.
The master carvers worked at Silo Park and visitors were encouraged to go along and ask questions ( Central Leader, July 30). About 32,000 people attended during the six-week residence.
‘‘In the past carving was a closed shop,’’ Spraggon says.
‘‘But it’s good for visitors to see live carving happening.
‘‘Our values are about including everyone and sharing Auckland’s stories. The only way you do that is in the public arena.’’
Now the master carvers have moved to Auckland War Memorial Museum’s Maori Court, where they will be for the next six months.
The group is working on a commission for a pare to adorn the Devonport Library entranceway.
‘‘The guys have all been studying these artefacts for years. Now to carve here is amazing.’’
Ambitious vision: Members of the carving collaboration The Sacred Chisels of Tamaki Makaurau. From left, Puhi Thompson, Wikuki Kingi, Arekatera Maihi, Rewi Spraggon and Sunnah Thompson.
On time: Immunisation co-ordinator and vaccination nurse Marion Howie gives Adriana Ji her first six-week vaccinations with mum Peggy Jin.