Sofia Minson Artist

Artist Sofia Minson with native New Zealand bird artworks

Sofia Minson is an award winning New Zealand artist who paints finely detailed portrait, landscape and native bird works, inspired by her mixed Maori and European heritage and the land and myths of Aotearoa.

Her fine art limited edition giclee prints are personally embossed with a Sofia Minson signature and are accompanied with a signed certificate of authenticity.  Museum archival matte card and pigments have been used, ensuring lasting beauty and quality of your art investment for generations to come. Your Sofia Minson print will arrive at your door, unframed and sealed in a protective tube.


“Aroha mai, aroha atu” by Sofia Minson


Limited Edition of 95 Fine Art Giclee Prints
520mm high x 820mm wide
Archival pigments printed on museum quality matte card
Personally embossed with a Sofa Minson signature
Signed Certificate of Authenticity provided
Unframed print arrives sealed in a protective tube


“Aroha mai, aroha atu” is a Maori proverb meaning “love received, love returned.” To the artist this work describes balance and symmetry. It is about seeing that polar opposites – positive and negative, darkness and light, male and female – are present in all things and are balancing each other out all the time, whether or not it is perceived this way.

Two extinct native huia birds perch on branches in the foreground showing how dramatically different the bill sizes and shapes were between female and male. Huia exhibited the most extreme sexual bill dimorphism of any bird species in the world and were said to have mated for life.

The Remarkables – Queenstown’s distinct mountain range is reflected perfectly in Lake Wakatipu in the background. Although huia were a North Island bird, since their extinction they have occupied the imagination of the whole of New Zealand and in this South Island landscape, stake their claim as a universal emblem of Aotearoa, of ancestral connection, and of the two sides of love.

The technique Sofia used on this painting was to first layer the canvas with smoothly blended metallic gold, blue and copper acrylics and then map out in minute detail using black ink-like paint, the mountain range and its reflection in the lake. The huia were lastly painted as intricate Maori designs with a hint of Hindu mandala influence, in irridescent pearl white paint. The irridescent and metallic paint reflects the light and changes in mood depending on the angle of the light in the room, while the black in the painting absorbs the light and is deep, matt and unchanging.

Huia were striking large songbirds, mainly black with long white-tipped tail feathers. A fleshy orange wattle hung at the base of each side of the bill. Maori named the bird after its loud distress call, described as “a smooth, unslurred whistle rendered as uia, uia, uia or where are you?” The last accepted sighting was in 1907, but it is likely that a few huia persisted into the 1920s.

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Additional information

Weight0.4 kg
Dimensions10 x 10 x 60 cm


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Sofia Minson is a portrait, landscape and native bird painter of Ngāti Porou (Māori), Swedish, English and Irish heritage. Using acrylics, oils and other mixed media, she works from her studio in Auckland, New Zealand.

Born in Auckland in 1984, Sofia spent much of her childhood in Samoa, Sri Lanka and China due to her father’s civil engineering work. On returning to New Zealand as a teenager, painting enabled her to reconnect with her homeland and her mixed Māori and European heritage, as well as celebrate the cultural and religious diversity that she had experienced overseas.

Since 2004 Sofia’s paintings have been exhibited and collected in the USA, Europe and throughout New Zealand. She has won three national art awards including the Molly Morpeth Canaday Art Award in 2005 and is a three-time finalist in the New Zealand Portrait Gallery’s Adam Portraiture Awards, winning People’s Choice in 2012 when the finalists’ exhibition toured to Christchurch.




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