Francis Upritchard

“… Upritchard is capable of whispering something delightful and sacred in one ear and something else, disturbing and profane, in the other. The 2002-03 heads could easily remind us of the sacred shrunken heads of Maori assiduously being repatriated from European collections. But as this one is not Maori, it suggests a kind of fake anthropology: a tribe of lost Pakeha identities.” (Rob Garrett)

‘I want to talk about collected objects in museums, where the real thing is no longer present once you wrench it from NZ…there are museums in London where there are draws of the most beautiful tiki and the real object does not exist anymore because it is all what you invest in it…that is what  I am trying to do with the sticks and the stupid crocodiles. I am trying to invest in these things by taking them out of context.’ (Upritchard)

In my own studio practice not unlike Upritchard I suggest a fictional anthropology in the making of my tool /bone artefacts. I have also looked into museum culture of repatriation of taonga this is a contentious subject which I try to distance myself from in the application of the paint, drawing only the non-fictional aspects of my ‘tools’. I appreciate Upritchards diverse use of mediums and hope to utilise this in my own practice.

Garrett, Rob. Web

Kunzru, Hari. Useful Magic: Francis Upritchard in the Attic. 2004. Web

Upritchard, Francis.


Francis Upritchard, Untitled 1, fibreglass, resin, fake hair and dental teeth 2002-2003.



Francis Upritchard, Jealous Saboteurs, 2005 hockey sticks, plastic, modelling materials


Francis Upritchard, Untitled [monkey case],2004, Fur, leather, plastic, gold, diamond, sapphire, ruby, wood and glass, gold, diamond, sapphire, ruby, fur, leather, plastic, glass, wood


Francis Upritchard – Cigarette Necklace (2003)



Francis Upritchard “Grey Teapot Man.” 2006, Ceramic.

wsj - Maori

New Zealand artists Francis Upritchard, second left, and Judy Millar, second right, posed with members of the Maori group “Waka Huia” for the opening of the New Zealand Pavilion at the Venice Biennale Wednesday. The Biennale is a major art festival that dates back to 1895.



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