MY CHOICE: Ngāwai Matthews / June 2020
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MY CHOICE: Ngāwai Matthews / June 2020

Ngāwai Matthews, Operational Support officer at Whanganui District Council.











Each month a member of our community is invited to browse our online collection and select six of their favourite artworks. Each ‘My Choice’ selection, together with personal responses to the works, will be available to view on the Sarjeant Gallery website for one month at a time. The June 2020 My Choice has been selected by Ngāwai Matthews, Operational Support Officer at the Whanganui District Council, and is available to view until 30 June 2020.


Aio ki te nuku

(Let us acknowledge peace on Earth)

Aio ki te rangi

(Let us acknowledge peace in the Sky)

Ko te kawa ora

(That is the natural order of the World)

Ko te kawa ora

(That is the natural order of the World)

Tihei! Mauri Ora!


Ko Ruapehu te maunga.

My mountain is Ruapehu.

 Ko Whanganui te awa.

My river is Whanganui.

 Ko Aotea te waka.

My canoe is Aotea.

 Ko Te Atihaunui-ā-Pāpārangi te iwi.

My tribe is Te Atihaunui-ā-Pāpārangi.

 Ko Ngapaerangi te hapū.

My sub-tribe is Ngapaerangi.

Ko Kaiwhaiki te marae.

My marae is Kaiwhaiki.

 Ko Ngāwai Matthews tōku ingoa.

My name is Ngāwai Matthews.

My Choice June 2020: Ngāwai Matthews, Operational Support officer at Whanganui District Council.

Click on an image to see further details about the work and artist, and view a large version.

To Be Female III – Joan Grehan

“For me, the main subject of this painting is the moon, and the sisters are enveloped in the energy of it. Ōuenuku is the phase – a great day for planting (represented by the greens, yellows and orange), a great night for eeling (represented by the stars), for physical activity (shown in the white of their hair) and for balancing of energy (represented by the intertwining of the sisters and their identical features). The interconnectedness and balance of everything is beautiful, and the sisters remind me of my sister Paeata and I, known for our long black hair and identical features.”

The Sacred Heart at Waitangi – Peter Ireland

“I grew up in a religious family, and both grandmothers were diehard Catholics. But as a kid, church was boring and Jesus was not cool. I like this painting because I like to think that maybe this is how my grandmothers saw Jesus – cool!”

Whanganui River – Bruce Foster

“I like this photo because it looks like a photo I have taken several times, whether it’s at the swimming spot down the road from my house where I take my dog to often and where my Aunty goes white baiting, or many of the bends up river that look like this. I enjoy the serenity of this photo.”

Boy with a Watermelon – Antonio Datillo-Rubbo

“I was captured by the vibrancy of the watermelon in this painting, so much so that for a moment, I was back up at Tieke on a hot January afternoon sitting at the table that you see as soon as you come up the hill. I’m eating a juicy piece of watermelon to cool down, and just watching people and the river below.”

Untitled (Shearing Shed, Kawhia) – H I Babbage

“We used to have a similar painting that hung in the lounge, and when we would move houses (which we did a lot), that painting came with us. I never understood it, it wasn’t bright or colourful, but my Dad told us that shearing is in the blood, his Dad, Uncles and Koro were shearers and it reminds him of that.”

State of Mind – Richard Killeen

“I am so glad I came across this painting because it reminds me of a quote that I came across a couple months ago – so fitting!

“Nothing in the world can bother you as much as your own mind, I tell you. In fact, others seem to be bothering you, but it is not others. It is your own mind.” – Dalai Lama”

Past Exhibitions 2020