Wellington-based artist Matthew McIntyre-Wilson (Taranaki, Nga Mahanga and Titahi) trained as a jeweller at both Whitireia Polytechnic and Hawke's Bay Polytechnic. During this period he began learning traditional Maori weaving techniques from master weaver and friend Rangi Kiu. He works across the disciplines of jewellery, craft and object and provides an indigenous response to museological practice.
In his practice Matthew McIntyre-Wilson frequently re-envisages customary Maori taonga (treasures) in contemporary materials and designs, but with Muka Face Mask, 2020 he does the reverse. Now imbued with highly contemporary significance, the surgical facemask here is reframed within the visual language of customary Maori adornment. Responding to the recent global pandemic events of Covid-19, in which personal protection is now essential, the artist applies his weaving knowledge and technical expertise making facemasks out of muka fibre. In doing so, he symbolically invests the mask with the protective qualities traditionally associated with kaitaka and pake (cloaks). Carefully crafted from natural materials and made for longevity, Muka Face Mask is the opposite of the item it references, raising questions about how we perceive and interact with objects in daily life and their relationship to past, present and future.
Muka Face Mask, 2020, muka with tanekaha dye, 220 x 160 x 600mm $4,000
Armband 2020, copper, fine silver, internal diameter 63 mm, pen drawing on paper + MMW catalogue $1,300
Brooch 22 and 9ct gold $3,200
Bangle sterling silver $380
'Kete' pendant, 24ct gold, 50 x 50 x 17mm
Rings - Sterling silver plaited
(Armbands 1/2 size)
Cuff, oxidised fine silver
Ripekatanga armband Copper & fine silver
Kuini, New Zealand, British & Cook Islands coins
Price of Change, New Zealand & Cook Island coins
"My practice of weaving in copper and silver originated from an interest in the form and pattern of raranga whakairo. Combined with my formal training as a jeweller, my work continually evolves primarily incorporating these two art forms."
"Whetu Raranga" Brooches
"Poi Kura" Necklaces
"Poi Kura" Reverse
© all images copyright Fingers