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“I create each piece from a personal journey. The stones resonate. They hold their own energy when I'm working with them. The combination of energy and the land I'm working on fuels me and the end result does surprise me”

Chris Bailey, of Ngati Hako, Te Aupouri, Ngati Porou and Irish descent, draws on the forms and ideas used by his ancestors and develops them to create a dialogue between the past and present. In following this process he explores his own heritage and gains understanding about himself.

"As part of the creation process I feel the surface of the works to assess the physical experience produced. I discover them, I see with my hands. We look after the land, and the land looks after us. It is a symbiotic relationship."

Works such as his latest form, Kumete, acknowledges the migratory routes of the people of the Pacific. From as far away as Taiwan and Japan, cultural influences have traveled along migratory routes helping forge the Maori culture of today.

Hawaiki nui,
Hawaiki roa,
Hawaiki pamamao,
I rapua mai ratou,
ki te hi ika.
I puta mai, a Aotearoa nei.
He turanga waewae mo nga ira tangata.

From deep in the Pacific,
they came searching,
and pulled from the sea,
New Zealand - Aotearoa.
A standing place for mankind.

Born in 1965, Chris attended Auckland University where he studied Maori and Cultural Heritage. His works, featuring smaller scale body adornment and larger sculptural pieces, have been exhibited both in New Zealand and internationally, his works feature in major private collections throughout New Zealand.

Chris has had the distinct honour of being invited to take part in the prestigious 53rd Venice Biennale. He was one of a selection of designers and artists whose work was shown in the New Zealand Room at La Maddalena. Chris also currently being filmed by an internationally recognised documentarist.

Past Exhibitions:

Artist Website:
Chris Bailey

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