Storytelling is a huge part of what we do at Saatchi & Saatchi. Stories feed Lovemarks and creates powerful emotional connections that enable us to create intimate relationships with our audiences.

Stories are precious. The Maori in New Zealand understand this and surround their most treasured objects with “interesting talk” to increase the mana (standing) of an item.

Another person who understands the power of a well-told story is David Trubridge, the New Zealand-based artist who looks for wisdom in traditional storytelling to inspire. An eco-designer, David’s works encourage a more sustainable way of living to bring balance back into our chaotic world.

Back in August, Saatchi & Saatchi New York hosted an event celebrating New Zealand as the guest of honor at this year’s Frankfurt Book Fair. We brought a little bit of New Zealand to the Big Apple then and are bringing it back now with the installation of David’s “Three Baskets of Knowledge” in the Atrium of our New York offices.

They’re beautiful works, but the real beauty comes from the legend they are based upon. The baskets tell the story of the Maori demigod Tāne, who separated his parents – Rangi, the sky father, and Papa, the earth mother – to make way for life between them. Tāne was then sent to the heavens to receive three baskets from gods containing the knowledge of how to live on earth, a trinity of harmonious living relatable to the Western concept of mind, body and spirit.

Recognizing that knowledge is light, David and his team created a lighting installation based on the three baskets. Each one is made from a different material and pattern that represent the knowledge they contain – natural, rational and spiritual. The light of knowledge shines through these patterns, casting intricate shadows on the floor beneath each one.

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Kevin Roberts

Kevin Roberts is founder of Red Rose Consulting; business leader and educator; author and speaker; adviser on marketing, creative thinking and leadership.


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