Kaitiaki Figure


John Bevan Ford



  • Sculpture


  • Wood
  • Paint


  • H1650 x D520mm (base diameter)

John Bevan Ford (Ngāti Raukawa Ki Kapiti), ‘Kaitiaki Figure’ (1995), Lincoln University, Canterbury.

Image: Bronwyn Holloway-Smith, Public Art Heritage Aotearoa New Zealand, 2021


This site specific work was created as the guardian of the library. Carved from tōtara and painted in bold acrylic colours, 'Kaitiaki' is securely grounded to the floor facing the main entrance doors.

"In Māori culture, a Kaitiaki image is a guardian, responsible for watching over and protecting the people and treasures of a place. This contemporary Kaitiaki, carved in totara, is sited to oversee the treasures of our University Library and observe those who enter. While safeguarding those seeking knowledge and encouraging the process of learning it also heralds that this is a place which needs to be treated with care and respect. The cloak form adds to the figure’s presence as a symbol of the wearer’s power, identity, and restrained energy."

Before visiting this work please check the Library website for current access hours.