Messini Palace Pania Sculpture
This beautiful colourful "Pania" sculpture is handmade by textile artist Messini Palace.
In Maori mythology Pania was a beautiful wahine from the moana who lived off the coast of Napier. She met Karitoki, the son of a rangatira - they fell in love and would meet at night. Pania would return to her ocean people by day. When Karitoki tried to keep her on land, she vanished back to the moana never to be seen again.
This figure is cast in resin and can be displayed in a light filled space, but not in direct sun as it will eventually fade the colour (as with any resin piece).
Dimensions: 120mm x 80mm
Messini Palace (Ngati Apakura) is a self taught artist creating her cast art from her Avondale studio in Auckland.
Messinis journey with her art is deeply intertwined with her own whakapapa and the layers of connectivity she continues to experience. Growing up in Central Auckland in the 80’s and 90’s Messini experienced the rich Pasifika and Maori communities but knew little of her own family history.
After 20 years of living and traveling abroad, Messini arrived back in Aotearoa in 2017 and embarked on a journey of whakapapa discovery meeting and uniting with Ngati Apakura iwi members and most recently witnessing the negotiations for the return of significant whenua to her iwi. It is no mistake to Messini that ‘coming home’ has resulted in creating art that expresses who she is, a connection between her Maori and Pakeha lineage.
Messinis pieces are a merging of traditional toi Maori (whakairo rakau/wood carving) with contemporary mediums such as resin and cast stone together with a vibrant and engaging colour palette. She casts from vintage carvings that were often produced for the largely Pakeha tourist market at the time and feels there is a subversive nature to her work, breathing a new journey, life and intention into the pieces. Messini has also engaged with Master Carver Michael Matchitt to create her Wheku who continues to be transformed in his imagery.
For Messini this merging of traditional and contemporary showcases an urban angle on toi Māori, and makes her work accessible for everyone to enjoy.
This item is limited edition, and handmade in Aotearoa