A year of dis­cov­ery for Froyle Davies

The Tribune (NZ) - - YOUR LOCAL NEWS - CARLY THOMAS

A lot can hap­pen in a year and, in the case of artist Froyle Davies, her whole life has changed in the 12 months since she traced her birth fa­ther to New Zealand.

An ex­hi­bi­tion of her work marks that jour­ney — her ‘‘re­turn home’’ af­ter 47 years in Aus­tralia and Davis’ dis­cov­ery of her Ma¯ori lin­eage.

‘‘In cre­at­ing this se­ries, I think my great­est rev­e­la­tion that I have come to is that I have ac­tu­ally al­ways been Ma¯ori,’’ Davies said.

‘‘I had no grid be­fore to re­late that to, but now that I’m here and now that I’m amongst peo­ple, I feel like I re­ally be­long.‘‘

Davies, who was adopted at birth, was prompted by a close friend to ‘‘find her peo­ple’’ last year.

She was able to trace her birth fa­ther to New Zealand and, although he is dead, she has con­nected with his fam­ily and chil­dren.

‘‘When I first met my brother Brownie, he em­braced me into the fam­ily, recit­ing our whaka­papa and bless­ing me in te reo. He gave me the pen­dant from around his neck.’’

Davies said the mo­ment gave her ‘‘an in­cred­i­ble sense of be­long­ing’’ and the pen­dant has be­come an in­spi­ra­tion for a new se­ries of works she is ex­plor­ing while study­ing to­ward a bach­e­lor of Ma¯ori vis­ual arts at Massey Univer­sity. Davies has made her home in Palmer­ston North now. In­her­i­tance: The Con­tin­u­a­tion of the Jour­ney Home

opens at Palmer­ston North’s Square Edge Com­mu­nity Cen­tre on May 5 and runs un­til June 5.

PHOTO: WAR­WICK SMITH/STUFF

Froyle Davies has found her fam­ily and a home in Palmer­ston North.

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