‘Tinned Taniwha’ is an ongoing collection of weird sea creatures based on Maori designs. The idea came to me after my partner was looking for a Pounamu (New Zealand’s green stone) necklace. She kept going back to Manaia designs (it’s a creature from Maori culture worn for a protection. It’s traditionally depicted as a creature with a bird’s head, human body and fish tail, that lives in lakes and rivers). I thought it would be cool to see what a realistic take on the stylized design would look like. I started making them out of a sculpy (oven baked polymer clay) and then painting them to add some realism.
The tinned versions are currently on display at the Dark Art Emporium in Long Beach California. I’m planning to make series of necklace style ones next and then Taniwha Sushi.