Wilson has been honing his craft for 40 years, with his work featured in the Queen Elizabeth II Arts Council Headquarters, the Te Puia cultural centre, the Waitangi Museum and more. He often works on public and private projects with a cultural focus.
His carving for Idealog’s cover is made from recycled Puriri and white Maire timber wood from a demolished house. It is inspired by the Maori proverb:
Whaia te iti kahurangi
ki te tuoho koe
me he maunga teitei
Which can be interpreted as:
Aim for the highest cloud
So if you miss it you will hit a lofty mountain
Wilson says the carved maunga (mountain) also speaks to how New Zealand’s volcanoes have played a big part in Maori life and tradition, particularly in speechmaking custom on a marae or at hui (gathering) where speakers identify the mountain they come from.
He says it also shows the respect and reverence for the gift of wood from Tāne Mahuta, god of the forest.
Meanwhile, the ladder encourages New Zealanders to be persistent in their journey and set their standards high for excellence.
“The symbolic ladder is aiming for the highest cloud. It’s a bit whimsical, but it wouldn’t be me if it wasn’t,” Wilson says.
See the creative process he took while creating the carving below.
Wilson is also interviewed in our More than a Koru feature on Maori design in the 2018 Design Issue.
Idealog has been covering the most interesting people, businesses and issues from the fields of innovation, design, technology and urban development for over 12 years. And we're asking for your support so we can keep telling those stories, inspire more entrepreneurs to start their own businesses and keep pushing New Zealand forward. Give over $5 a month and you will not only be supporting New Zealand innovation, but you’ll also receive a print subscription, an Idealog t-shirt and a copy of the new book by David Downs and Dr. Michelle Dickinson, No. 8 Recharged (while stocks last).