Ko Parapara te Maunga
Ko Mōhū te taki wā
Ko Te Tai Tapu te Moana
Ko Pariwhakaoho te awa
Ko Huria o Waikoropupu te taniwha
Ko Onetahua te marae
Ko Te Ao Mārama te whare
Ko te Whānau Onetahua
Ko Robin taku ingoa

robin image.jpg

Robin Slow was born in Blenheim (Wairau) and started his formal education there, later moving to Christchurch and completing his high school years at Christchurch West. To keep himself at school he started working as a commercial artist before moving on to complete a Diploma of Teaching with an art major at Christchurch Teachers’ College. After spending some time in Christchurch, he and his family of Rose and two children, Sandra and Tracey, moved to Twizel in South Canterbury where he took up a position teaching visual arts and design. For 31 years he was teaching art at Golden Bay High School, Tākaka, Mohua/Golden Bay. The teaching of art was a major focus for him but in turn it provided a learning and development opportunity for his own work and progression. He resigned this position to concentrate on his own image making. He still continues to teach and work through Onetahua Marae.

Since 1991 Robin has worked with the whānau at Onetahua Marae producing murals, traditional instruments, kōwhaiwhai and carving, finishing in the completion of the wharenui, Te Ao Mārama. He had overall responsibility for the design and layout of the wharenui. Robin spent ten years gathering information and working through the many different aspects required for the wharenui. With the Tangata Whenua of the area supporting and guiding, a framework was provided for the development of processes, procedures and philosophy which provided the context for his art. Through the marae he had the opportunity to work with people from throughout Aotearoa and overseas, artists and students alike, attracted to the heart of Mohua/Golden Bay. A large number of works were completed on a community basis.

Painting as an individualistic process, took over mainly as a means of recording visually the learning process and the discoveries that had been explored over these preparatory years. The act of painting and making marks on a variety of surfaces was always a passion or driving force. The materials spoke and as they had a whakapapa, they demanded attention. There the paintings would have stayed in piles in the studio corner, being used as koha for the marae, but one of the whānau (family) saw the works and took it upon themselves to organize an exhibition in Wellington. This was Robin's first solo exhibition for twenty years.

Robin has since then taken part in many exhibitions, both solo and in groups. These have taken place throughout the country. From these exhibitions, different galleries, and his own studio, works have travelled to many different parts of the world. He has worked on marae with whānau to produce co-operative works, taught at workshops and worked with other artists, not only visual, but also on a variety of different projects.