MFA (with Distinction), BA Fine Arts, Dip Tchg
I am a practising Tā Moko artist, painter,
carver, kapahaka performer, composer, graphic
designer, researcher of whakapapa and oral
histories and kaikōrero. The focus of my work
is first and foremost in my connection to home,
to Tairāwhiti, the Marae and my role as an
arts educator and mentor at Toihoukura.
I received an NZ Arts Foundation Laureate
award in 2004, was the inaugural Gallipoli
artist-in-residence in 2006, and was awarded
the honour of Officer of the NZ Order of Merit
As chairperson for Te Uhi a Mataora Tā Moko
Arts collective, I have been heavily involved
in the retention and development of the
rituals, karakia and oral histories associated
with Tā Moko. My research also involves the
introduction of new technology to contemporary
Tā Moko and I have developed a visual data
base of personal works and that of other Tā
As a designer, I have researched and directed major art components for high profile events such as the Olympic Team to Athens and the Commonwealth Games in both Melbourne and Beijing. As a sculptor I have completed major projects such as the Maui Whakairo for Hikurangi as part of the Ngāti Porou millennium.
I am a researcher and composer of many waiata, haka and mōteatea that capture the oral histories of Te Tairāwhiti. Since 1995 I have been a performer and leader of Whāngārā mai Tawhiti Kapa Haka. I am a cultural advisor to the All Blacks and composed their Haka, Kapa O Pango, performed at the Rugby World Cup in 2011.
My research titled Te Whakarei Whakaaro – Te Raurangi focuses upon contemporary waiata and cross referencing this to traditional composition. I am interested in how both contribute to language revitalization within an arts context, portraying a future pathway for our youth. Waiata is to follow the water and to reflect properly what is happening in the water, to be true to what you are saying. This is the platform for my work and research.
For example see: Lardelli, D. (2011). Kapa O Pango. (Haka for the New Zealand All Blacks. Rugby World Cup).