Today Enrich@ILT students had the chance to go to Oti Murray's exhibition of the carvings he and a group of other people have done. The exhibition is called Taonga o nga Matua tipuna, Treasures Of Our Ancestors.
He said that all the pieces in the exhibition took nine weeks to create. He found his special talent of carving at boarding school in 1976. Some may see these as art but Oti sees them as stories and Taonga, He loves carving as a way to tell stories the things that inspire his works of art are the whakapapa and genealogy of each piece.
To help Oti get to the skill of where he is at now, Oti thanks his tutors and his spiritual guides. Many hours he's spent carving and learning. I asked Oti how long it takes to perfect his craft and Oti said that he will never perfect it and the day he does is the day he dies.
I asked him if he considered himself gifted, yet he answered no.
By Alex Lewis