Episode 1, Fact 1 - Paitangi Ostick


Paitangi Ostick is an accomplished carver, Tā Moko artist, weaver, painter, and also composes her own waiata (songs) in Te Reo Māori. She is one of the few female practitioners of Tā Moko (traditional Māori tattooing) and Whakairo (carving) in the Far North and one of only a handful in New Zealand. It has been a challenging path to follow, both carving and tattoo are traditionally male domains, and despite encountering resistance from a number of directions - including her own iwi - she has persevered and gone on to become a respected figure in the Māori art world.

Pai first discovered carving at around the age of 8 when she would 'borrow' her English father's tools from his shed and chisel away on anything she could find. He encouraged her interest, buying her first set of tools, and by the time she was 13 she was in her version of heaven. Painting, drawing and collage were also always present and these mediums, combined with her passion for carving lead her naturally towards Tā Moko and from there she hasn't looked back.

Today, Paitangi has her own home-based studio where displays her original prints and woven pieces for sale as well as, of course, tattooing those who seek out her services . She works regularly overseas in Europe and Asia and has been the subject of televised programming such as Waka Huia and Vice.

To find out more about her work you can visit her website at www.http://paitangiartandink.co.nz