This painting pays tribute to the Wairaka Statue in Whakatāne, serving as a homage to the renowned Lady on the Rock statue. It is widely acknowledged as an emblem of our region and was revealed at the Whakatāne Heads in 1965 as a commemoration to Sir William Sullivan's wife. Sir Sullivan played a pivotal role in the development of Whakatāne throughout the 20th century.
The impressive bronze statue stands atop Turuturu Rock, positioned at the mouth of the Whakatāne River, and serves as a memorial to Wairaka, the courageous daughter of Toroa, who was the captain-navigator of the Mataatua waka. By employing van Gogh-inspired swirling brush strokes, this painting aims to capture the essence of the original artwork, resulting in an enjoyable and visually stunning creation.
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