A newly created commemorative art piece
Name: Ko Hāta Maria, te Matua Wahine o te Atua
Translation: Holy Mary, Mother of God
Artist: Damien Walker (Studio of Saint Philomena, Rangiora)
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 the place she holds in our hearts and our community today.
The artwork aims to respect our different cultures and backgrounds. The painting captures details which are unique to our country and Catholic identity. It asks us to celebrate the things we share in our community and to learn more about our different worlds.
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 help steer 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) was unveiled in Wellington on Sunday 15 August. The artwork is now touring New Zealand as part of Te Hīkoi Wairua mo Te Ara a Maria. Details of the hikoi will be listed on our events pages as each Diocese confirms their tour itineraries.
At the conclusion of the tour the artwork will be permanently housed in a shrine which will be created at St Marys of the Angels (on Boulcott Street) in Wellington. The shrine will be accessible to the public. It will make an excellent destination for anyone contemplating a pilgrimage of New Zealand.
Photo: A snippet of Damien Walker's artwork.