Tāmaki Innovation Campus


Te Moemoea A Te Tauira/The Student's Dream

by Brett Graham

Sculpture named Te Moemoea A Te Tauira/The Student's Dream, by artist Brett Graham.
Cast bronze, Oamaru stone

Brett Graham was trained at the Elam School of Fine Arts, University of Auckland and at the University of Hawaii. He has been exhibiting since 1986 and had has first solo exhibition in 1991. In 2005, he was awarded a Doctorate in Fine Art from The University of Auckland.

Te Moemoea A Te Tauira/The Student’s Dream compares the student’s dream and the flight of the man aute/manu tukutuku, a Māori kite which is both bird and human in form. The words ELEPHAS (ivory) and KEPAS (horn) carved on the stone refer to a passage in Homer’s Odyssey in which dreams of ivory gates are seen as deceitful while dreams which come through the gates of polished horn are true. It is from this passage that we derive the expression "ivory towers". The pattern carved on the stone resembles the "stairway to heaven" pattern in tukutuku and taniko design which refers to Tawhaki’s climb to attain knowledge. The bronze sticks which make up the figure have been cast from wooden sticks by the lost wax method of casting.