Brian Flintoff's carvings have been exhibited in several countries and some are in Museums, and Public and Private Collections worldwide. He has also gained recognition by being made an Elected Artist Member of the New Zealand Academy of Fine Arts. His contributions to the arts were recognised with the awarding of a Queens Service Medal in 2010.
Working with Te Haumanu, a group dedicated to the revival of Māori flute and instrument making and playing, has brought him status as a traditional flute maker. Support and guidance from the Māori community has been the greatest influence and inspiration for his carving. Therefore he considers the most satisfying acknowledgement possible is that he is proud to have many pieces 'at home' on Marae throughout Aotearoa. His attitude to carving bone is inspired by that of traditional artists, who strove for excellence in order to please the spirit world. Their understanding that harmony is the balance of Spiritual and Physical elements has enriched both his life and his carving. An absorbing interest in the art of the West Coast Canadian Indian people led him to research animal forms in Māori Art. This remains a focus through which he can express his love of, and concern for, nature.
Brian has written a book, "Taonga Puoro, Singing Treasures" published by Craig Potton Publishing which introduces the musical instruments of the Māori with instructions on making and playing them and includes a sampler CD of their music. The Rangi or tunes can be heard on CDs, produced by Rattle Records (www.rattle.co.nz) TE KU TE WHE by Hirini Melbourne and Richard Nunns and TE HEKENGA A RANGI by Hirini Melbourne, Richard Nunns and Aroha Yates-Smith.
This book has been followed by "Kura Koiwi, Bone Treasures" where Brian tells of his journey into the Māori culture through bone carving. Originally published as a companion book to 'Taonga Puoro, Singing treasures', Kura Koiwi is now available for free on this website. Click here to read Kura Koiwi.
Brian is one of 24 National Artists featured in "Stone, Bone and Jade' by Donna Salt.