custom-made ‘Patriot’ semi-acoustic jazz guitar, maple, spruce, rewarewa, kauri, ebony and paua
1200 x 570 x 500 mm
Chartwell Collection, Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, 2001
22 Feb 2001
New Zealand Art
guitars, paua, popular culture, nationalism
This instrument is one of a unique edition which has the collective title Ten Guitars. Each customised instrument has different patterns derived from kowhaiwhai (rafter paintings) and, like all multiple art works, each is numbered. Tua whitu, ‘the seventh’ in Te Reo Māori, is inlaid in paua-shell lettering at the 12th fret.
Engelbert Humperdink’s song Ten Guitars – the ‘B’ side of Please Release Me (1967) – was forgotten in the rest of the world but appropriated by Māori who had moved from rural areas to cities. As the artist has stated ‘in the 60s the guitar was like a portable marae’.
(Recent Contemporary Acquisitions, 2002)