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Ivan Toopi grew up in Taranaki - around Opunake and Ngā Motu. Always being creative, he remembers putting things together with paper and anything at hand - but always drawing.


The birth of his children inspired Toopi to get back into art later on in life in order to pass down culture in a visual way - so they grow up in a way that they are grounded within mātauranga Māori towards self determination.


He is part of the New Zealand pounamu authentication scheme that authenticates and qualifies pounamu from the Ngai Tahu region. Toopi completed an advanced Diploma in Art and Creativity from the Learning Connexion, Wellington and is currently studying under Glen Hauraki towards a diploma in Whakairo Rākau. Toopi is building towards making his art his career.

“As an artist I like to make works of a personal nature, that engage people with themes and ideas surrounding tangata whenua”


Ngāpuhi Ki runga, Ngāi Tahu ki raro.
Te Whānau-a-Apanui, Ngai te Rāngi me Kahūngunu ki waho
Ko Waikato ki Roto.
Whakamau ki te korowai Māori
Tīhei Mauri Ora e!


As an artist I am inspired by my mixed Māori and European ancestry. Spirituality and the quest for enlightenment also play a core role in driving my work.

Aotearoa’s mixed native and built-up areas serve as strong influences. My childhood was spent in a semi-rural part of Taranaki. Where we could hunt, surf and mountain climb all in the same day.


Now working from a home studio, I have the space to let my creativity and work grow.

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