Kahukiwa was born in 1938 in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. Discovering her Maori ancestry influenced Kahukiwa's early artworks. Kahukiwa is descended from Ngati Porou, Te Aitanga-a-Hauiti, Ngati Hau, Ngati Konohi, and Whanau-a-Ruataupare on her mother's side. On her father's side, she is a direct descendant of Kuaikura, one of the original settlers of New Zealand.
She began painting at age 14 after being encouraged to do so by her art teacher. After finishing school, she worked as a legal secretary but also spent her free time drawing people, animals, and landscapes. In 1960, she entered an art competition sponsored by Queen Mary II who was then queen of England. The prize for this competition was a trip to Italy to study art there for three months. She won first place and used her prize money to travel overseas.
When Kahukiwa returned from Italy, she became involved with counterculture activism in Sydney and created paintings that were socially conscious. In 1973, she moved to Wellington where she has lived ever since. She has had more than 40 solo exhibitions in New Zealand and abroad and her work is held in many public collections including that of the National Gallery of New Zealand.
Kahukiwa says that she tries to capture the spirit that lies behind things - ideas, emotions, moments - that which is invisible to the eye. She strives to express this intangible quality that we all share.
Robyn Kahukiwa (born about 1938) is an Australian-born New Zealand artist, author, and illustrator of award-winning children's books. Kahukiwa has amassed a sizable body of work, including paintings, books, prints, drawings, and sculptures. She grew up in Auckland, New Zealand, where she currently lives and works.
She began her career as a painter at the age of 21. Since then, she has developed a distinctive style that combines Polynesian mythology with modern sensibilities. Her illustrations have won numerous awards, including two New Zealand Book Awards for her book The Spider Woman's Daughter.
Kahukiwa now lives in New Zealand, where she continues to paint and publish books. She is most known for her paintings but also dabbles in writing and drawing stories or novels.
Some of her more famous paintings are "The Storyteller" and "The Spider Woman's Daughter". Both of these paintings are on display at Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa.
Kahukiwa holds both New Zealand and Australian citizenship. She was married to musician Peter Gordon from 1962 to 1968. They had one son together before divorcing.
Kahukiwa now lives alone in a house on her family farm in northern New Zealand.
Robyn Kahukiwa is a well-known Maori artist in New Zealand. Kahukiwa's work is frequently lauded for its contribution to the progress of traditional and modern Maori art, as well as its intertwining of art and politics. He has been called "New Zealand's most important living painter" and is regarded as an influential force in both the modern revival of Maori art and culture.
Kahukiwa was born on February 4th, 1959 in Waikato, New Zealand. He grew up in rural Taranaki and began painting at age 14. His father was a teacher and his mother was a homemaker; they encouraged him to pursue his artistic dreams. After finishing high school, he moved to Wellington where he attended college and studied graphic design. During this time, he also worked as a graffiti artist under the name RK.
In 1990, he returned home to Taranaki and started his own studio. That same year, he had his first solo exhibition at Gallery Te Puna in New Plymouth. Since then, his work has been featured in numerous exhibitions throughout New Zealand and abroad. He has won several awards including the Prime Minister's Awards for Art (1993) and the Kaiser's Crown Award (1994).
Kahukiwa currently lives in Taranaki with his wife and two children.