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Flashe (acrylic vinyl) painting on canvas, 
1975 x 1350mm (including antique black frame), 2017

Contact us to inquire about the original

Limited edition print available - scroll down and click 'add to cart'

"Hine-titama" is part of Sofia Minson's Sacred Mirrors series of works.

Artist Sofia Minson with Maori portraits with moko kauae - Hine-titama and Hine-nui-te-po

This portrait began as a feeling I was curious to uncover. While I painted her she was a sacred mirror to me, reflecting back a quiet, strong, authentic quality.  

Her form was inspired by dozens of 19th and 20th century black and white photographs of Maori. I pieced together this portrait from our young female ancestors in those photos. And she has become something entirely new in the creative process.

The clothes we wear each day become our costumes. They symbolise who we are and indicate to people how they should relate to us. In the same way, Hinetitama's clothing and adornments in this portrait give us an impression of her mana or status.

She wears a stylised korowai (traditional Maori cloak), painted in reflective gold. The korowai is detailed with subtle grey tāniko designs - geometric patterns that are woven into the borders of fine garments.  Her chin bears the indelible mark of Moko Kauae (tattoo) signifying whakapapa (lineage). And she has a sacred white-tipped huia feather in her hair.

Legend of the Lady of the Dawn

After finishing the piece and sitting with her for a while, I realised that she embodied a particular goddess. Her name is Hine-tītama, meaning “Lady of the dawn.”

Hine-tītama’s father was Tāne, the god of the forest and progenitor of mankind. Her mother was Hineahuone - the first woman, the first human. Hineahuone was formed by Tāne from the earth.

I then understood that the two female portraits I had just painted were of the same goddess at different stages in their evolution. This one as the younger Hine-tītama, and the other as Hine-nui-te-pō - the Great woman of night.

Limited Edition Print

Limited edition of 95 signed prints available on matte paper of museum archival quality called hahnemuhle photo rag 308gsm. Image size is 805mm high x 500mm wide surrounded by an unprinted white border.  Shipping is FREE within NZ and $35 everywhere else (prices are NZD).  Unframed print arrives sealed in protective tube or sleeve.

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Sofia Minson Oil Paintings | New Zealand Artwork