This piece was funded by New Zealand Government Organisation – Creative New Zealand in 2014 – In support of Te Mete’s Solo Art Exhibition “Pa Kowhai – The Eye of Ōpōtiki” Celebrating the beauty and culture of the Whakatohea and Ōpōtiki region. 18 of 22 pieces were sold on Opening, making it one of the most successful shows of his career Two kererū Love Birds fly above the road in what is one of New Zealands most adored and iconic sites… The Pohutukawa Tree (New Zealand Christmas Tree) growing over roads. The New Zealand pigeon or kererū (Hemiphaga novaeseelandiae) is a bird endemic to New Zealand. Māori call it kererū in most of the country but kūkupa and kūkū in some parts of the North Island, particularly in Northland. Commonly called wood pigeon,they are distinct from the wood pigeon (Columba palumbus) of the Northern Hemisphere, which is a member of a different genus. Kererū are known to have one mate (partner) during their lifetime. They perform spectacular mating displays, flying high into the air from a perch, then diving steeply before pulling out of the headlong fall. The painterly style of this artwork encompasses great detail and transcendental tones of dark and light, a distinct familiar tone the artist invests in his work, Te Mete says “ I remember growing up as a kid watching Kererū flying in front of our house and resting on a couple Pohutukawa trees… they always seemed to possess some sort of magic about them, especially when you hear them fly the sound is enchanting. Over the years I’ve travelled all over New Zealand and I’ve driven under many Pohutukawa trees growing over the roads, even main highways, they are iconic to New Zealand and they always remind me of home and watching the Kererū rest”
Te Mete Smith (Te Mete) is a New Zealand Contemporary Māori Artist, he is adeeply symbolic, abstract, portrait and landscape Artist of Māori, Irish and French decent. He currently resides in, Opotiki NZ.
He was raised in Whanarua Bay in the Eastern Bay of Plenty. His parents both alternative and creative minded spent the early parts of his childhood raising the Artist in a Cave. The artists says “knowing what living basic really means, makes you fearless of the possibilities of what can be… and to be an artist you need to be fearless, it takes courage. My parents are both very inspiring people.”
His, anecdotal creations of beauty observed from what he describes as multi-faceted perspectives are inspired by deep involvement through years of work understanding himself though the eye of the gaze, voyaging history, people and the spirit of difference, but in tern creating difference as a reason to celebrate in Aotearoa (New Zealand) and the rest of the World.
Te Mete made international history after painting Louisa Wall (NZ Labour Politician) known for fronting the Equality Amendment Bill that give same sex couples the right to Marry in NZ, the original painting featured in Investment publications among artworks that have sold at Christies Auction in New York for multi millions.
Te Mete painted “The final Portrait of Carmen Rupe” a New Zealand icon and human equality visionary, the portrait was revealed in conjunction to an honorary Traditional Māori Ceremony (Powhiri) at Te Papa Museum (New Zealand National Museum) in Wellington on the 1/11/2013, the portrait was then revealed to the general public on the 2/11/2013. The portrait went on to sell at Auction in 2014 and sold for an undisclosed amount by a private collector who donated the piece to the NZ Parliament Art collection in Wellington.
Throughout the years Te Mete has had many exhibitions throughout New Zealand and Australia, most of which have sold out, attracting buyers and investors from all parts of the globe.
Te Mete has donated money through the sales of his artworks for selected charities including, New Zealand Aids Foundation, Rainbow Youth, Cartier Bereavement Trust, NZ Cancer Foundation, GABA, Cure Kids, Ronald McDonald House, World Vision, among many other notable charities
Te Mete’s artwork has sold dividends in his professional art career, collectors from America, Dubai, England, Germany, Holland, Italy, New Zealand, Australia, Canada among others have made investments in the artists original works and prints.