For Heather Jonson, as a Maori, European, New Zealand artist, art is a holistic expression of wairua, the life force of creation.
“In Maori culture every object and living being in this world and any other has its own mauri or 'life principle' thus from a Maori perspective each work of art has its own mauri which includes the wairua (spirit) and mauri (uniqueness) of the artist as well as of the whenua (land/place) from which it comes. In the Maori world the skills, ideas and wairua of those who have gone before and have influenced the current works are also honoured as are the materials used. For Maori the materials also have their own mauri and as such are treated with respect and gratitude During the making, there are points, where the artist lets go of intent and allows the process of exploration to discover the path to the work's completion. When a piece is completed the artist then sends it out into the world where the work begins a life of its own. As it moves through space and time and from hand to hand it becomes imbued with the wairua of all those who have connected to the work which deepens its mana (respect/value).