This artwork from Janice Napper is representative of her very popular Tiki series featuring actual 45rpm records as the bulging tiki eyes.
Tiki’s are treasured as good luck charms and red was a sacred colour in Maori belief, especially associated with the gods and high born persons.
The protruding tongue is normally seen as an act of defiance but Napper has used it as a focal point featuring a segment of Rita Angus’s painting – “Fog, Hawkes Bay”. The original hangs in Auckland Art Gallery. Napper’s title “Angus Tiki” acknowledges her influence and the subject matter of the Angus cattle that have escaped the livestock truck.
The background reflects New Zealands historical connection with Britain which has helped formulate many of our common traditions, values and family ties. However this importance is fading as NZ forges its own identity and the significance of this is not lost on the artist with her colourless Union Jack overlaid with hand written gold script of New Zealand’s national anthem in both English and Maori.