Renowned artist Marian Maguire contrived a first meeting between ancient Greeks and New Zealand Maori in her series The Odyssey of Captain Cook, in which the Greeks arrived in Aotearoa aboard Cook’s Endeavour. Maguire chose Herakles, the strongest and most determined of heroes, as pioneer of this New Land in her next series, The Labours of Herakles. These exhibitions were extremely successful in Marlborough and throughout New Zealand.
In Titokowaru’s Dilemma the struggle for the land itself becomes the underlying subject. The Maori prophet and war leader is protagonist in a story that is part his own, part a modern-day commentary, and occasionally echoes the mythic struggle on the fields surrounding Troy. Titokowaru was commander and priest, war leader and pacifist, and Maguire has him engage with the philosopher Socrates as he ponders whether he can better save his people through a path of passive resistance or warfare. The catalogue for the series includes plates of all lithographs and etchings that comprise the exhibition, plus essays by historians Elizabeth Rankin, James Belich, Giovanni Tiso and Anne Salmond; and a poem by Keri Hulme.
Born in Christchurch in 1962, Maguire graduated from the Ilam School of Art, University of Canterbury, in 1984, after majoring in printmaking. She later studied in the United States at the Tamarind Institute of Lithography. Apart from her own work she has worked as a collaborative master printer with some of New Zealand's leading artists. Exhibition catalogues and a limited selection of works will be available for purchase.
Titokowaru’s Dilemma is toured by Exhibition Services Limited.