Hokianga- The Returning

Hokianga- the Returning

It is said that when The great Polynesian explorer, Kupe, left the Hokianga harbour for the last time and returned to Hawaiki, that he named this region the Hokianga, meaning the returning. He left his 3 taniwha to guard the area; Arai Te Uru and Niniwa, to guard the entrance of the harbour and Ngapuki to guard the harbour itself.

This is a place of returning for me as well. After more than a half-century of wandering like the toroa (wandering albatross), I have returned to the birthplace of my ancestors to find my whakapapa (ancestry), and to connect to roots stretching back to Kupe. Perhaps I will even settle here.

Anyone looking at the Hokianga on a map might well shrug their shoulders and dismiss this as just another place. However anyone who has actually comes here, or who comes from here, will know that this is a special place, like no other.

These images, a work in progress, explore my response to what I am seeing and feeling and what is being shown to me. They represent a  new  artistic territory for me and yet are the logical extension of a journey as an artist. I am fascinated by and challenged to walk the knife edge between  the digital photograph and painting.

Many of these have stories with them. If you would like to read the kōrerō, then visit the Journal section of this website

Feel free to visit often as I update this gallery, and, if a particular image resonates with you and you feel one would find a place in your home,  then please contact me.

Nga mihi nui ki a koe

Tony Bridge


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