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Ko Hāta Maria, te Matua Wahine o te Atua

 Holy Mary, Mother of God

by Damien Walker (Studio of Saint Philomena, Rangiora)

A PDF guide to the artwork can be downloaded here or check the video below.

To celebrate the rededication, our Bishops have commissioned a new piece of art. They wanted a depiction of Mary that connects her to Aotearoa. The piece challenges us to see her as a woman of incredible strength and depicts the special place she holds in our hearts and our community today.

The artwork respects different cultures and backgrounds, and captures details that are unique to both our country and our Catholic identity. It asks us to celebrate the things we share in our community and to learn more about our culture. 

Christchurch based artist Damien Walker’s goal was to create a vision of Madonna and Child with an emphasis on kotahitanga (unity). He collaborated with Anthony Te Keepa to grow his knowledge of Te Ao Māori, and to ensure he was connecting with authentic voices to steer the direction of the project.

For Damien, “the painting depicts Mary as a symbol of unity in her universal motherhood, uniting Heaven and Earth in her son, Jesus, the son of God.”  

“She reflects the unity of the Church, which reaches to the ends of the Earth, stretching not only across the oceans but across the centuries as well. The work has a distinctly New Zealand depiction of Mary, emphasising also the unity of the tangata whenua with all the other peoples who have come to live alongside them in the partnership of bi-culturalism, called to live the same faith and baptism, each in their unique way.”

Ko Hāta Maria, te Matua Wahine o te Atua (Holy Mary, Mother of God) is now permanently located at St Marys of the Angels (on Boulcott Street) in Wellington.