Lenny Murupaenga

Who and what inspires you?
My Uncle Selwyn Muru has always been a huge inspiration. I have also been fascinated and intrigued with our Traditional mahi toi. Had the opportunity to explore this in 2016 as I enrolled myself into the Whakairo Diploma Programme at TWOA.

What influenced your journey in pursuing the Arts?
I excelled in the arts during my primary, intermediate and secondary years. My brother Stevan planted the seed for me when I was a little boy. He could draw anything.

What is your medium of choice (eg: painting, digital arts, photography etc)
Painting, drawing, design and Whakairo.

How would you describe your creative style? (Eg: abstract, expressionism etc)
Combination of Maori Contemporary Art and Art Nouveau.

What does your art mean to you?
Probing the boundaries and perimeters of one’s imagination and expressing this through a particular medium.

Do you have a fave piece of art and if so whom is it by and why is it your fave?
I actually have 2 that I adore equally.

‘The Kiss’ and ‘Fulfillment’ both of these by my all time favourite artist Gustav Klimt. I loved these 2 paintings because they visually reminded me of my parents especially after losing my father 5 years ago hence why I dedicated a painting to them.

This painting was at the Hangar Gallery last year during Matariki. It was a painting where I fused The Kiss and Fulfillment into the painting. The painting was called ‘Farewell’.

Left: The Kiss Gustav Klimt 1908. Right: Fulfillment Gustav Klimt -1905

How would you describe the Arts in Aotearoa?
From my perspective the Arts in Aotearoa is thriving. As artists we do need to educate the wider community about the importance of the Arts. The Arts play a huge role in society, one major aspect that is usually over looked is Well being. A very good example of this is how the Arts is incorporated in all facets of the Te Whare Tapawha model, physical, mental, emotional and spiritual well-being.

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