Geoff’s artwork for ANZ - Te Tohu o Matariki o ANZ [ANZ’s Design of Matariki] - is centred around themes derived from traditional depictions of Matariki, presented through a modern medium.
"Matariki is the Māori new year – it’s a time to think about the things that have happened in the past, the people that have gone before us, the things we are doing at present, and we also think about the future, and the rangatahi [young people] that will go into the future,” Geoff says.
“We look to the future with hope - so Matariki is a great time to reflect and think about the past, present and future.
The nine stars of the Matariki [Pleiades] constellation feature centrally in the tohu, with their depiction inspired by whakairo harakeke [flax weaving].
Each star is located on its own star trail – inspired by long-exposure astrophotography – which symbolises our passage through life.
“The star trails depict the passage of time - and also the trail that we lead through life, and those important people that we walk along those trails with,” Geoff says.
The design is generally circular, with concentric circles inlaid with koru [fern] patterns coming together to take the shape of a kanohi [eye].
“The Matariki origin story tells us that, after being defeated in battle by his brother Tūmatauenga, Tāwhirimātea threw his eyes into the heavens in anger,” Geoff says.
Outside the star trails, the intersecting spiral [takarangi] pattern represents Papatūānuku and Ranginui [the Earth Mother and Sky Father].
“The kanohi combines with the takarangi and star trail motifs to represent the vision we must have to move in the world,” Geoff says.
“By looking back at past generations, learning from successes and failures, we can turn to the challenges the future brings with hope, determination and strength - eyes wide open to the challenges, and ready to face them.”
The koru within the design represent growth, parents, and their children.
“We also look to the future generations - the new shoots of koru needing aroha [love], guidance, protection and wisdom to allow them to grow and flourish - so they too can face the challenges of tomorrow.”
The multiple layers of koru around the centre of the design represent whakapapa [geneology] – “from the beginning creation story, to the people of today”.
Geoff says he hopes the design will draw people’s attention, and maybe inspire them to learn a little bit more about Matariki, and form their own connection with it.