Four Bits of Fish - Tail

Warwick Freeman (New Zealander, b.1953), Artist 1993 © All rights reserved See full details

Object Detail

"It was during one of my family's many trips to the Far North that I got thinkig about the history of describing the landscape in zoomorphic terms - during the holidays spent half way up the tail of Te Ika a Maui (the firsh of Maui - the Maori name for the North Island of Aotearoa) always in sight of Mt Camel (named by James Cook for its resemblances to a camel hump) I decided I wanted to make a piece about the 'tail'. That led inevitably to making the other 'bits' of Maui's fish"

Warwick Freeman, Given, Pub 2004, Starform, Auckland.pp 58.

"Unlike Tiki Face and Koru Whistle which drew attention to the cultural appropriation debate, Four Bits of Fish (1993) and Hook (1993), as more general questions about being Pākehā. The fish in question is Te Ika a Maui, the fish of maui, a name given to North Island of Aotearoa in honour of the creation story in which Maui perfoms superhuman feats with a hook made from the jawbone of his grandmother. The point is how Freeman, as a Pākehā, relates to a creation story that is Māori in origin. Like the best of Freeman's work, Four Bits of Fish and Hook fire on many cylinders at once. Fish and Chips, a British tradition, are a national fast-food takeaway dish in Aotearoa, and four bits of fish is a respectable order."
Damian Skinner, Given, Pub 2004, Starform, Auckland.Pp 58.
Four Bits of Fish - Tail
Production date
bone, paint, cord
Pendant: 69 x 50mm (h x w)
Cord: 400mm (length)
Credit line
Collection of The Dowse Art Museum, purchased 1994
Accession number

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