The inspiration for this painting comes from the cluster of stars that’s known in New Zealand as ‘Matariki’. The seven brightest stars shine all but two months of the year. The appearance of Matariki on the horizon heralds the Maori New Year. A time to mourn for those that had passed. A time to plan planting of crops, dependant on weather conditions. A time to gather together, rejoice in each other’s company and enjoy the year’s harvest. The ‘Ruru’ (Owl) in this painting is leaving the juvenile stage into adulthood, still showing some pale soft feather and the dark area around the eyes.