Iwi (tribal) affiliation: Ngāti Porou, Rongowhakaata, Ngāti Kanohi (Ngāi Te Riwai), Ngāti Kaipoho (Ngāi Te Aweawe)
The designs are based on traditional patterns, with leeway for artistic expression. Our ancestors had a high regard for creativity and the right of the individual to create something new on behalf of the tribe.
Derek Lardelli is regarded as one of Aotearoa New Zealand’s finest tā moko artists. Each moko he creates is carefully researched to reflect the whakapapa, history, and particular interests of the person receiving it. Although he uses modern electrical equipment, his work reflects the deep respect he holds for the traditions of his ancestors.
With a background in teaching, fine arts, and classical Māori literature, Derek is currently principal tutor at Toihoukura (Māori Arts Department), Tairawhiti Polytechnic, Gisborne. He has taken an active role in explaining the revitalisation of tā moko and its spiritual significance, and has taken part in numerous exhibitions and workshop programmes both in New Zealand and overseas.
Have a look at a gallery of images of Derek Lardelli at work on The Marae
Tā moko artist Derel Lardelli and kaiawhina (assistant) Patrick Takoko applying moko to Joe Harawira.