In 1962 my mother was gifted a beautiful korowai after working at Rotorua's Public Relations Office. She left New Zealand soon afterwards to travel and live overseas. I grew up with this korowai hanging on the wall of every home we lived in, and since inheriting it I have done the same. Wherever we lived in the world it symbolised my mother's love for New Zealand, Māori culture, and her memories of growing up on a sheep farm in Palmerston North with five brothers and sisters.
My sculpture 'Korowai' is a tribute to my memories of my mother, to the grace and beauty of this traditional Māori art form – and to early settlers like my great grandparents and grandparents who tirelessly attempted to bend and shape the land (and endless spools of No.8 wire) to their will.
> Listen to a brief interview with Cherise while setting up for the Fieldays No.8 National Art Award.
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