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Bringing Matariki to life in Art

Aaron Diaz

In the making of this card, I researched Māori art styles, different references, other art pieces, and symbols with the Koru. The Koru, symbolises peace, new beginnings, tranquillity, and positive changes.  I used the Koru within the land, the sky, the hair, and in each of the nine stars to emphasise the fact that Matariki is a time of new beginnings, peace, and positivity.  Another symbol used in this masterpiece was the fern, known to symbolise strength, stubborn resistance, and enduring power. It’s been part of the identity of Aotearoa for decades. You can see the fern on the outlines of the land to showcase the strength of our people, that despite the hardships we’ve been through, we can still stand here today, and we will continue to stand here for many more years.

This card was a culmination of a new art style, a new medium along with the experience from past art. When I draw, I try to make a story by adding small characters, making those who witness the art think of all the messages and possibilities.  Making this card was a step outside my comfort zone as I was using an art style that was foreign to me and I had limited time to research.  It is a gentle reminder to us all – take risks, make mistakes and step outside your comfort zone to achieve further than you thought possible.