behind the brush - series 1 and 2 ( 7 X 30' )
The stories of Māori figures painted by the artist Gottfried Lindauer reveal a far more daring past. Behind The Brush reaches into the canvas and discovers lovers and betrayal, the haunting, the hilarious and the simply outrageous.
From the chief who skied off a shark; to the wife who taught her husband never to stray again – only after eating did she inform him the meal was his mistress; Behind The Brush offers a portal into a very different history. Across seven episodes, the personal stories of 21 tūpuna, are presented with startling honesty by their descendants, straight to camera and to the viewer.
These are not portraits pondering twilight. They are larger than life and their actions would shape a nation. One ancestor led an elite death squad. But it was his business acumen which founded estates worth millions today. Another was attacked by an enraged widow who gouged out his eye. He married her.
Many portraits will ring familiarity. Their images have been reproduced worldwide across galleries, merchandise, post cards and stamp collections for more than a century.
But who they really are has remained locked in canvas.