The Rotorua-based carver, who learned his craft from renowned New Zealand artist Lewis Gardiner, regards the stone with a reverence and respect born of his Maori heritage.
"What drives me as a pounamu artist is knowing that everything I create is forever. Just like diamonds but with a mauri – life force – that will carry our art forms into the future."
"It’s just a beautiful material. You have to be quite gentle with it, to know how to incorporate the colours and shades of the stone into the design of the finished taonga (treasure)."
Familial ties to the Te Arawa tribe deeply influence his designs but he has also exhibited overseas and studied the work of international carvers.
“Whether it’s the Chinese culture and jade traditions or the First Nations customs in Canada, I am really drawn to all indigenous art.”
Raised on the wild and rugged West Coast of New Zealand, Luke Gardiner still calls Hokitika home. This self taught artist, finds his inspiration in nature and has been re-creating it’s beauty in greenstone for over a decade. His connection with the wairua (spirit) of the land is evident in each of his designs, infusing his artwork with a peaceful, protective aura.
Alex has been carving since childhood, and as such is an expert when working with jade, but also in other mediums like Māori wood carving. His work is inspired by...