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With a wealth of traditional motifs and myths, and a variety of multicultural influences from which to draw inspiration for artistic mediums from performance arts and painting through to crafts, it comes as no surprise that New Zealand art is world-class.
One of the biggest inspirations for New Zealand artists is nature and the stunning landscape. While painters capture the scenery, others use natural materials such as flax and fern in their works. This is not a new development – Māori developed motifs and artistic forms using natural resources from their earliest days in New Zealand, carving bone, stone, wood and shell, and weaving native fibres. In recent years, contemporary artists have woven together a blend of histories and cultures, themes and styles in their work, reflecting the diversity of New Zealand society. It is common to see traditional Māori arts using contemporary mediums, and distinct Māori, Asian and Pacific Island influences can clearly be seen in other artworks. This blend reaches across all genres. Ancient Māori performance arts, for example, employ modern interpretations, while Kiwi musicians mix international styles with traditional Pacific influences, and New Zealand movies show at international film festivals.
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