This 1982 Kaleidoscope report interviews artist Theo Schoon, on his return to New Zealand after a decade in Sydney and Bali. Schoon was a pioneer as a Pākehā engaging with Māori design, melding modernist and Māori motifs (e.g. moko and kowhaiwhai patterns). He discusses his earlier estrangement from the New Zealand art world ("talking to the deaf"), his eight years documenting Māori cave drawings ("art galleries of a sort, art galleries that I'd never been conscious of"), growing and carving gourds, and being inspired by Rotorua’s geothermal activity. Schoon died in 1985.
I have always felt the presence of the Māori in this place. The fact that it’s called Wai-o-Tapu rings a bell immediately. The Māori knew this was sacred ground. The name is correct.– Theo Schoon on his connection to Wai-O-Tapu (which translates as sacred waters)