Darcy Nicholas

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About Darcy Nicholas

Darcy Nicholas has been part of the contemporary Maori art movement since the late 1960's. His artwork is about his relationship to the land and connection to his people, recording its history and images in painting, sculpture, and writing. His work is held in public and private collections around the world; among them the national Gallery of Scotland, the Volkerkrunde museum in Germany, and New Zealand Parliament.

He was brought up with strong Maori influences, as both parents were leaders, which meant other tribal leaders often visited the family home to discuss tribal issues.

In 1984 he won a Fulbright award to America to observe the African American and Native American art movements, and was selected twice in the 1980's as a guest international judge for Zimbabwe Heritage. He has since developed several cultural ties between those countries' indigenous Artists and Maori Artists. These exchanges broadened to include other cultures and non-Maori New Zealanders as well. He curated touring exhibitions to Canada, Australia, and Africa, and was the creative director for Maori Art meets America in San Francisco, 2005, along with Maori Art Market, a showcase of over 200 Maori Artists, in the years 2007, 09, and 11. In 2009 he was given a citation from the United States Ambassador, in appreciation for his contribution to building relationships between the United States and New Zealand. In 2005 he won the Creative Wellington Award, and in 2010 was awarded a Queen's Service Order (QSO) for his services to Museums. From 1993 until 2012 he served as the director of Community and Cultural Services for Porirua City. He was the creative visionary behind Pataka Museum, which went on to win several acknowledgements and awards while hosting numerous big events and exhibitions during his tenure.

Darcy Nicholas featured in the 2005 documentary `Land of my Ancestors' which served as a window into his art career and his role as creative director for 'The Eternal Thread' - a touring exhibition to the United States and Canada. His book 'Land of my Ancestors' was published in 2004, and launched in San Francisco the following year by the Maori Queen, the late Dame Te Atairangikaahu.

In 2013 he was presented with the Supreme award for his services to Maori art, aptly named `Te Tohu mo Te Arikinui Dame Te Atairangikaahu Te Waka Toi Exemplary Award, after the late Maori Queen.

He continues his art career today and is a resident in Lower Hutt, New Zealand.