Wellington Scoop

Owen Mapp at Pataka: 50 years an artist-carver

Press Release – Pataka Art + Museum
Pātaka’s major retrospective exhibition Owen Mapp: Dragons & Taniwha50 Years an Artist Carver celebrates his ground-breaking achievements as the country’s first professional contemporary artist carver of bone.

Owen has been carving bone in Aotearoa New Zealand for 50 years. Before he started to carve in the late 1960s, bone was considered to be a secondary, less desirable medium for carving artists. Through Owen’s unwavering dedication to developing and refining the art of bone carving and sharing his technical skills with emerging carvers, he has played a vital part in its revival and the desirability of finely-carved bone today.

He became interested in carving through involvement in archaeology and museum work in Aotearoa New Zealand and overseas. After selling all 30 of his carvings in his first major exhibition in 1972, Mapp seriously focused on developing his career in bone carving and quickly established himself through regular exhibitions in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch as a highly respected contemporary bone carving artist.

For much of his career as an artist carver, Owen has also lectured, presented workshops and taught classes in the techniques of contemporary bone carving at tertiary institutions and museums throughout Aotearoa New Zealand and overseas. In 1986 he was asked to tutor carving at Whitireia Polytechnic, Porirua, and various other institutions. He continued to teach carving at Whitireia for 28 years, always part-time, allowing him plenty of time in his studio. Cultural background has always been included in his workshops.

In addition to exhibiting his work regularly in galleries and museums throughout New Zealand and Japan, Owen has also lectured and exhibited widely in the USA, UK, Scandinavia, the Netherlands, China, Canada and Australia.

Owen Mapp’s work is held in the collections of the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, Auckland Museum, Canterbury Museum, The Dowse, and The Suter in Aotearoa New Zealand as well as a number of collections internationally.

Curated by Pātaka Art + Museum, the retrospective exhibition will feature around 200 works.

What: Owen Mapp: Dragons & Taniwha – 50 Years an Artist Carver
When: 27 May – 19 August 2018
Where: Pātaka Art + Museum

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