Michael Matchitt - Carver
Michael Matchitt is a tohunga whakairo (master carver). He descends from a line of carvers from the iwi Te Whānanu- ā-Apanui of the East Coast. He graduated with honours from Te Puia (The NZ Māori Arts and Craft Institute) in 1988.
Proudly part of a legacy of whakairo (carving), Michael descends from iwi recognised for their contributions to whakairo, teaching and the arts. Shining examples include two of Michael’s uncles: internationally renowned artist and carver Para Matchitt, and Māori artist, heritage advocate, and teacher Cliff Whiting.
Michael grew up at Te Kaha, a small coastal New Zealand community in the Bay of Plenty. It was at the marae as a boy that he became immersed in the Māori language – hearing it being spoken and seeing it in its carved form as he gazed up at the elaborately carved wharenui.
Michael is inspired by the possibilities of enhancing the inherent, natural beauty in both native and exotic timber and other medias.