New Zealand artist/muralist Owen Dippie has not been painting much outside lately, so it’s a pleasure to welcome him back to BSA today with a new portrait and tribute. “I painted this mural of my friend as a symbol of the infinite love between a father and his son,” Owen tells us. “This piece is also for everyone who has ever lost someone. As we look to them they look to us.”
The image is in the photorealist style Dippie is known for – portraits full of warmth and intention, so that they feel as if they could speak to you at any moment. We let Owen do the speaking here:
“I stretch my gaze towards the universe and watch for you my son, for every luminous celestial body that enters earth’s atmosphere is you illuminating the sky and sending me messages of hope in the falling stardust.
For Stu, moko in particular the Matatūhua (facial moko) has been the central tool he has used to heal from the grief and trauma of losing his son to cancer 8 years ago. While the tohu (symbols) on his moko are a reminder of his past grief and trauma; the moko also depicts his neverending love for his son and provides a map guiding him on his journey forward. Every year new lines are added or existing lines are deepened and the physical pain and spilling of blood are a healing release of the profound emotional pain held deep within the body.”