KO PARAPARA TE MAUNGA
KO MŌHŪ TE TAKI WĀ
KO TE TAI TAPU TE MOANA
KO PARIWHAKAOHO TE AWA
KO HURIA O WAIKOROPUPU TE TANIWHA
KO ONETAHUA TE MARAE
KO TE AO MĀRAMA TE WHARE
KO TE WHĀNAU ONETAHUA
KO ROBIN TAKU INGOA
“I am influenced by the area, the people, the natural resources (and the protection of them), the histories and stories that go to make Mohua (Golden Bay) a special place.” Robin Slow was born in Blenheim (Wairau). Robin trained as a commercial artist before completing a teaching diploma with an art major at Christchurch Teachers’ College. For 31 years Robin Slow taught art at Golden Bay High School in Takaka. The teaching of art was a major focus for him, but in turn it provided a learning and development opportunity for his own work and progression. Since 1991 Robin has worked with the whanau at Onetahua Marae producing murals, traditional instruments, kowhaiwhai and carving, and the completion of the wharenui, Te Ao Marama. Robin had overall responsibility for the design and layout of the wharenui. Through the marae he had the opportunity to work with people from throughout Aotearoa and overseas, artists and students alike, attracted to the heart of Mohua/Golden Bay. A large number of works were completed on a community basis.
Robin has since resigned his Art Teaching position in order to concentrate on his own full-time image making. Other artistic activities have been completed from weaving, through to stone/bone carving to the creation of puoro, or traditional musical instruments. Painting as an individualistic process took over. The materials spoke and as they had a whakapapa, they demanded attention. There the paintings would have stayed in piles in the studio corner, being used as koha for the marae, but one of the whanau (family) saw the works and took it upon themselves to organize an exhibition in Wellington.
Robin has taken part in many exhibitions, both solo and in groups around the country, including a recent exhibition at the Suter Art Gallery. His works have travelled to many different parts of the World, and are in many private and public collections including a large triptych in the company of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Harry and Meghan, who visited New Zealand in 2018. He still continues to teach and work through Onetahua Marae.