Prominent Northland artist Manos Nathan has died after a 10-month battle with leukaemia.
Mr Nathan, of Te Roroa, Ngati Whatua and Ngapuhi descent, was born in Rawene in 1948 and passed away peacefully at his Dargaville home on Wednesday, his family said.
He is survived by his wife, Alison, his four children and one grandchild. He will lie at Taita Marae, Mamaranui, from today with the funeral service taking place at Taita at 11am on Monday.
Since the mid-1980s Mr Nathan was at the forefront of the Maori ceramic movement. He co-founded Nga Kaihanga Uku, the national Maori clayworkers' organisation, although his background was in wood carving and sculpture. In 1982 his elders asked him to carve the meeting house, Tuohu at Matatina Marae, Waipoua, on his tribal lands.
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His clay works draw on customary art forms and Maori cosmological and creation narratives. In 1989 he travelled to the US on a Fulbright grant to visit Native American potters. A reciprocal visit took place in 1991. His artworks also reflected influences from the Cretan tradition.
Mr Nathan's work is held in the collections of the British Museum; the National Museum of Scotland; the Museum fur Volkerkunde, Berlin; and Te Papa Tongarewa/Museum of New Zealand. He was represented in Te Waka Toi: Contemporary Maori Art, which toured the United States (1992-94), and his work was exhibited in Fusion: Tradition & Discovery (1999) and Kiwa-Pacific Connections (2003) in Vancouver, Canada, Taiawhio-Continuity and Change (2002) and Nga Toko Rima: Contemporary Clayworks (2003-05) at Te Papa Tongarewa.
In 2010 he was also inducted into the Massey University, College of Creative Arts Hall of Fame.