"Kia Orana," Cook Islands
"Kia Orana," Cook Islands

The Cook Islands are 15 specks of coral and volcanic rock scattered across 772,204 square miles of Southern Pacific Ocean. About 14,000 people live here. Here vibrant and fragile communities live encircled by unimaginable distances of open water. It is a sort of paradise. And this is a home for me, for I grew up on Rarotonga, the largest island in the group. "Kia Orana", in Cook Island Maori, can be translated "Hello" or, more literally, "may you continue to live." In each square of yellow sits a flake of New Zealand Paua shell in the shape of that particular island.

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Medium: Oil and paua shell on canvas

Year: 2011

"Kia Orana," Cook Islands

The Cook Islands are 15 specks of coral and volcanic rock scattered across 772,204 square miles of Southern Pacific Ocean. About 14,000 people live here. Here vibrant and fragile communities live encircled by unimaginable distances of open water. It is a sort of paradise. And this is a home for me, for I grew up on Rarotonga, the largest island in the group. "Kia Orana", in Cook Island Maori, can be translated "Hello" or, more literally, "may you continue to live." In each square of yellow sits a flake of New Zealand Paua shell in the shape of that particular island.

Medium: Oil and paua shell on canvas

Year: 2011