Ngati Toa focus at Pataka
Former Titahi Bay resident Wayne Youle came back to his home town to paint several works of art specifically looking at Ngati Toa Rangatira.
Youle was commissioned by Pataka to paint two portraits for the Porirua City Council collection – one of Te Rauparaha and another of Te Rangihaeata. Nohorua, the half-brother of Te Rauparaha, was also represented in the series.
‘‘There’s a massive list of people who could have been done. Originally I was only meant to do one, but wanted to represent all three,’’ he said.
Youle worked on the paintings while he was in residency at the gallery recently.
Inspiration came from similar drawings done by Isaac Coates, a bus tour with Ngati Toa’s Taku Parai, and research by himself and Pataka.
‘‘Getting called back to do something like this gives you a real sense of pride, but I know the real importance is those who are portrayed in the painting.’’
Youle’s style is a layered process he has perfected over the years.
‘‘You can’t rush it or you’ll get it wrong.’’
‘‘I’ve always been interested in how non- Europeans were portrayed by Europeans and I’m always going to paint like this.’’
The artworks were painted using different colours to show the type of leaders Te Rauparaha and Te Rangihaeata were.
They took Youle a week to fin- ish and were shown last week.
They will most likely hang in Pataka initially and will then be moved to the council building.
Though he now lives in Amberley, north Canterbury, Youle’s connection with remains strong.
‘‘I always miss this place.’’
He started his career with a show at Pataka, and about four years ago had more work displayed in the main gallery.
Growing up he was into surfing at Titahi Bay Beach and attended Mana College, where he took every art class he could.
One of Youle’s earliest artist memories was doodling in books at school.
Wayne Youle returned to Titahi Bay to paint two portraits specifically looking at Ngati Toa Rangatira.