Todd Couper

(b. 1974)

Rongomaiwahine, Ngāti Kahungunu
Lives in Papamoa


Since being introduced to whakairo practice at Waiariki Polytechnic in the mid-1990s under Roi Toia, Todd Couper has worked as a full-time artist and developed a strong following in North America through representation by Spirit Wrestler Gallery in Vancouver. Consequently, his major work is rarely seen in Aotearoa and is influenced by his relationships with Native American and First Nation artists.


Working with scarce and valuable native woods and the process of bronze casting, Todds’s sculptures interpret aspects of Te Tai Ao (the natural environment), including creation narratives, deities and animal forms. The frequency of animals as a subject of Couper’s sculptures is attributed to his passion for the outdoors though invariably reflects on the lack of animal depiction in ancestral Māori art. While sharing this interest with totem poles of the North West Coast of America, Couper’s streamlined aerodynamic sculptures are imbued with the rhythms of whakairo and kōwhaiwhai.

Todd Couper featured Work