Richard Francis 

Iwi (tribal) affiliation: Te Arawa

Tena ra ia tuwhera, te poka ki Te Reinga
Ki te ahi tipua, ki te ahi tawhito
Ki te ahi tapu a Uetonga, e.
Kei reira ko nga pukenga, kei reira ko nga wananga.

Then open is the great fissure to the underworld
To the enchanting fires, the fires immemorial
The sacred embers of Uetonga.
There are the repositories of knowledge.
There is the lore of the occult arts.

I enjoy tā moko, painting, and semi-three dimensional wood sculptures. Moteatea (poetry), haka (dance movement), waiata (song), and whakapapa (genealogy) give me a strong traditional base to work from.

Having travelled overseas as part of art exchanges to Hawai’i, the United States, Samoa, Europe, Noumea, and Korea, I have become more culturally sensitive to a wide range of cultures and, more importantly, have been developing a total appreciation of our own taonga tuku iho - Māori culture.

Richard Francis graduated from the Māori Visual Arts Programme at Toihoukura, Tairawhiti Polytechnic, Gisborne. Since then, he has obtained a teaching diploma and now lives in Rotorua. He is both an artist and kapahaka performer, and has attended a number of festivals including the Pacific Festival of the Arts, Noumea (2001), and the Gwangju Biennale Festival, South Korea (2002). His work has been exhibited in several museums and galleries.

Have a look at a gallery of images of Richard Francis at work on The Marae

Tā moko artist Richard Francis and kaiawhina (assistant) Paki Wilson apply moko to Tenerore Manawaiti.