New public art

A monumental-sized steel toki has a new home in New Brighton, Christchurch.

SCAPE Public Art commissioned artist Jon Jeet to create the piece in 2022, and until recently it was on temporary display at Te Matatiki Toi Ora The Arts Centre. The artwork, He Toki Maitai 2022, now has a permanent home next to the Roy Stokes Community Hall on Seaview Road.

Jeet lives in North New Brighton, just a short walk away. The toki is located inside the boundary of the old New Brighton School. For Jeet, “it’s a full circle” since he had his art studio at the old school for several years after the Canterbury earthquakes. “It takes me back to building relations with Renew New Brighton and the many, many artists who were there.”

He Toki Maitai can be translated as beautiful toki or foreign/steel toki. A toki is usually translated as ‘adze’ in English. Traditionally, Māori shaped and used toki for several purposes, from gardening to wood carving, and adornment.

Jeet has established a career as an outstanding sculptor and carver, having made thousands of toki.

IMAGE: Jon Jeet, He Toki Maitai, new site west view (main pic).
Jon Jeet, He Toki Maitai, close up of base plate (insert).

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