Maori Artist Showcase - Printmaker, Carmen Snelgar

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Ko Parihaka te maunga
Ko Hātea te awa
Ko Ngātokimatawhaurua te waka
Ko Ngāti Hau te hapū
Ko Ngāpuhi te iwi

My name is Carmen Snelgar and I am a Māori printmaker.
I was born, raised and am still living in Whangarei Northland.

I work from a small studio at home.

I have always had a passion for all things Māori and in 2005 i completed Diploma in Te Reo o Ngāpuhi me ona tikanga at NorthTec Whangarei.

While raising a family of 3 kids (now aged 12, 10 & 6) I completed a raranga course and a short māori design course before enrolling and completing the Diploma of applied arts at NorthTec.

It was during my certificate year at NorthTec, 9 years ago that I fell in love with printmaking.
I have worked on a few different types of printmaking including woodcuts, screen printing, bamboo cutouts, solar prints, digital & even ephemeral. My favourite would have to be woodcuts.

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My Maori culture & history is what inspires me to the point that every aspect of my art is Maori design focused. Although I am a contemporary Maori artist I believe you need to know where you come from to be able to move forward. I understand that there is a lot of history and korero to be seen in our traditional carvings so I've researched Whakairo, and the meanings behind certain designs. I think it's important to keep these korero alive & remembered by using them. I love creating traditional designs then adding a contemporary twist whether it be the florescent colour or the medium I choose to print on.

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What I hope to achieve in the future is to inspire other contemporary Maori artists to explore printmaking....and perhaps teach it myself someday.

Carmens work can be viewed on Instagram here:
Or Email Carmen Snelgar on:


Click the image thumbnails to view Carmens prints in full.