toi o tahuna

Hokioi (Eagle)

by Todd Couper

Hokioi (Eagle) by Todd Couper
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Limited edition of 10

The eagle I feel has a presence that sets it apart from the rest of the bird world. The sight of a lone eagle perched at the top of a dead tree is one that can be awe inspiring. Such a noble creature cloaked in layers of beautiful plumage you would expect to command Mana (prestige, integrity) and respect within the animal kingdom as a paramount chief would by his people. With a slight air of mystery the eagle to me portrays a sense of royalty and as the lion is king of the jungle, the eagle is definitely ruler of the skies.

The ancient Hokioi (New Zealand Eagle) was a bird of such stature and our Maori ancestors believed it to be a spiritual messenger that could transcend the physical and spiritual realms.

Parallels can be drawn with the First Nations tribes of North America. A bird that is seated deeply in their culture, is greatly respected and to which they hold a strong spiritual connection with. The Eagle is truly a magnificent creature, having the beauty, grace and elegance of a king with super acute senses, raw power, agility and speed. Such a combination can only describe this creature as the ultimate predator.

For this carving I really wanted to bring out the features and characteristics of a typical eagle. In doing this I spent a long time studying the eagle from different angles to get a more accurate form especially around the eyes and beak. The eagle being a predator has its eyes pointing forward for judging distance. This was the main concentration point to get the depth right and working in with the aesthetics and balance of a flowing design.

width: 356mm
height: 432mm
year: 2009
media: Bronze

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