Artist Biography

Aaron's art delivers unique perspectives in illuminating components of Maori art and Maoritanga that appeal to both the ‘old world’ and the ‘new world’; the traditional and the contemporary. His works are interpretations that embody his vision of Māoritanga seen through a contemporary lens.

Based on the designs and patterns of his Tupuna (Ancestors), his art pays homage to his culture and his love for the sharpness and fluidity of Maori and Polynesian designs.

Taamoko (Tattoo), Whakairo (Carving) and Raranga (Weaving) are 3 traditional Maori art disciplines that his people have used to express their creativity, pay their respect and tell their ancestral stories.

Whakapapa (genealogical connections) are a key theme in most of his paintings. Maori people are spiritually attached to both their ancestral ties and the earth, and this plays an integral role in the kaupapa (theme, subject, plan) that defines his body of work. This is the reason kowhaiwhai design and the koru feature so prominently in his artwork. These are traditional lowing rafter designs that follow a repetitious pattern and are often found in Maori meeting houses. They usually tell a story about a particular tribe and lay a pattern that has been selected for the people of a specific region. Aaron believes that everything we experience in life is only made possible through the pathway laid by our ancestors and our relationships with the earth. Our understanding of things, knowledge and abilities gained from those who came before lead us to thirst for a greater closeness to where we came from. We strive to move along this pathway, and in turn share the taonga (gift) of life with future generations.

Aaron endeavours to put Wairua (spirit) and Aroha (feeling) into every visual interpretation, to bring a fresh perspective to tell a story. He has exhibited in many galleries in Australia and was a feature artist in the ‘Pacifica Power’ Exhibition at the Casula Powerhouse Museum in Sydney in 2014. His art has appeared in, and on the cover of various publications, and he has produced numerous commissions for private and institutional clients, including "The Journey" for ANZSOG in 2021.

© 2022 Aaron McTaggart