Brett a'Court: Two Prophets, Two Angels.

20 May - 10 June 2023
Brett a'Court: Two Prophets, Two Angels. 

Brett a'Court: Two Prophets, Two Angels. 

"Over the past four years I have been working on woollen blankets stretched on canvas supports. The blankets are the connection and metaphor between colonisation, Christianity and the Maori prophets. The woollen blanket series was inspired by a Maori prophecy which was proclaimed before the coming of Europeans. "Te ingoa o tō rātou Atua, ko Tama-i-rorokutia, he Atua pai, otirā, ka ngaro āno te tāngata" / "Their God is a good God, called the son who was killed, but the people will still be oppressed".


The One Who's Eyes Blazed with Fire, with Love in His Heart. (Prophecy at Rangihoua Pā) .

This work is about the prophecy at the Rangihoua Pā, before the coming of Europeans to Aotearoa. The inhabitants saw a being 'Who's eyes blazed with fire and had love in his heart'. The Being then told them to name their Pā 'The gates of heaven' and the bay below Oihi, 'Shout he has risen'. On Christmas day 1814, Māori joined European missionary settlers to celebrate the first Christian service in New Zealand at Oihi Bay. The Rev. Samuel Marsden preached, and it is believed to be the first Christian sermon on Aotearoa's soil. It is now marked by the Marsden Cross.


Raukura 1881

In the 1860's, the prophets Te Whiti and Tohu spoke of a spiritual white Albatross bringing a divine message to fight land confiscations and encroaching European settlements by non violent means. The symbol of the Albatross's white feather, left to the people of Parihaka, is often referred to as Te Raukura. In 1881 colonial troops prepared to invade the settlement at Parihaka.


Te Kooti in the Wilderness 

Te Kooti Arikirangi was a Māori prophet, the founder of the Ringatū religion. Te Kooti escaped colonial forces in the wilderness of the Urewera bush. It was the first of  many escapes which gave Te Kooti his formidable reputation. He rode a white horse with which he would always be associated. It became the horse with spiritual power, ensuring that its rider would elude capture. In 1873 Te Kooti accepted pacifism. From that date, he said, "I ceased strife…I came into the presence of Tāwhiao, and will not withdraw myself from it". 


Te Maiharoa Lifting Tapu

Te Maiharoa was a Māori prophet, who in the 1870s, led his people in the fight against the injustice of a land deal by occupying land they believed had not been sold. He led a heke of his people from Arowhenua on the coast to the upper Waitaki - the promised land. This ongoing battle against the Crown was waged with words - but eventually lead to an armed confrontation in 1879. "I do not want action which sheds blood", Te Maiharoa called. He gained a reputation as a prophet, carrying out ceremonies to remove tapu from objects and localities, and was said to perform miracles.