Kelcy Taratoa

Master of Māori Visual Arts

Kelcy Taratoa’s roots are in the Horowhenua and he now lives in Palmerston North. But don’t be deceived – the Māori Visual Art graduate’s artworks are spreading around the world.

Kelcy did the Massey’s Māori Visual Arts degree because he wanted to be an artist. But what he discovered helped him form his very identity.

As a person of Māori (Ngai Te Rangi and Ngati Raukawa), but also Pakeha descent, Kelcy grew up in an urban environment, with no strong sense of where he fitted in culturally.

‘Studying at Massey gave me a good sense of the making of New Zealand as a culture and where I fitted into that. That’s given me a really solid, strong base to then go out to the world, look it in the eye, and say ‘this is what I want to say’.’

It’s no surprise then that much of Kelcy’s work today deals with searching for identity. It’s a global theme, and that’s attracted the eye of a major world art patron.

Taratoa says that growing interest in art in New Zealand and New Zealand artists is leading to huge international opportunities.

His  art works were selected by prominent American collect David Teplitzky for inclusion in the international Roundabout exhibition.

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