Emily Karaka

When at intermediate school, Emily Karaka was encouraged to pursue art by her teacher, Greer Twiss. Twiss and his friend Colin McCahon, as well as Arnold Manaaki Wilson and Auckland Girls’ Grammar teachers Elizabeth Ellis and Trixie Illingworth, were early influences on Karaka’s artistic development.

Karaka’s abstract expressionistic paintings are notable for their exuberant use of colour, strong imagery, densely layered application of paint and political commentary. Te Tiriti o Waitangi (The Treaty of Waitangi), and the subsequent claims brought to the Waitangi Tribunal, often form the starting point of Karaka’s work.