Polynesian objects from early European exploration, £19.99
Height: 570.000 mm
Width: 760.000 mm
AOA Ethno John Bevan Ford 1
John Bevan Ford, Te Hono ki Ranana (The Connection with London), a drawing
New Zealand, AD 1993
This drawing is one of a series in which New Zealand Maori cloaks float over the land, here over the British Museum and the former Museum of Mankind (Burlington Gardens), the home of its ethnographic collections from 1970 to 1998. The cloaks represent the Maori ancestors, and especially the power of the chiefs, which extends to the land below.
The artist, John Bevan Ford (born 1930), himself a Maori, came to London to study the Maori collections at the Museum. This drawing is the outcome of an invitation to mark the Maori exhibition held in the British Museum in 1998, where he was also one of the Visiting Artists. He comments that the placing of the cloaks over the land is a way of talking about the importance and nobility of the people, and of the land.
D.C. Starzecka (ed.), Maori art and culture, 2nd ed. (London, The British Museum Press, 1998)
E. Best, The Maori, Vol: II Memoirs of the Polynesian Society: vol. V (Board of Maori Ethnological Research, Wellington, 1924)