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Henry Wilson.


On February 11th, 2023, the Ōtara community unveiled a striking vinyl wrap for the Ōtara Ōyster featuring artwork by the late Pasifika artist Henry Wilson. Wilson; who was compared to renowned artist Fatu Feu'u, co-founded South Auckland arts collective 'Primitive Nature'. Despite facing paralysis due to Guillain-Barne Syndrome, he pursued art, earning diplomas from Manukau Polytechnic and Whitecliffe College of Art before his passing in 2001. In his honour, AUT established the Henry Wilson Pasifika PG Scholarship for Pasifika students in Art and Design. Artist and Curator Iokapeta Magele-Suamasi, a friend of Wilson, initiated the art tribute after discussions with fellow artist Paora Mokonui Arangi Anihana (now Australian based) and consultation with Wilson's family, including sister Ruth Wilson. With Wilsons family permission, the Ōyster now features Wilson's artwork, celebrating Ōtara's artistic talent and creative legacy.

'Primitive Nature' were responsible for painting Pacific motifs on the lower part of the 'Te Ika' Fish Canopy and Fish Head structures in Ōtara designed by renowned indigenous architect Rewi Thompson (1963-2015).

Under this symbolic structure, is where the Ōtara Ōyster now sits.

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