Ngati Porou, Te whanau a Rautaupare
Born in Tokomaru Bay, Baye began his vocation as a ceramicist in 1973 and has been working as a full-time ceramicist ever since. Baye attended Otago University in Dunedin, returning to his home in Tokomaru Bay in 1977 where is currently based. He has tutored extensively throughout New Zealand in tertiary institutions and on marae.
He has run many art workshops establishing community, national and international networks. He has exhibited widely and has been represented in many public and private collections.
In his work Baye explores Christian and Maori themes and the links between them. For Baye, the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ is an expression of Christian belief in Christ’s victory over death. He sees a parallel between this belief and the story in Maori mythology of Maui’s quest for immortality. Gateways are also a central theme in his work, with their symbolic meanings of challenge, decision, and the unknown.
In 1987 he co-founded Nga Kaihanga Uku, a Maori clayworkers’ organization.
In 1989 he was awarded a Fulbright scholarship to establish an exchange with Native American artists. His work was selected for “Te Waka Toi: Contemporary Māori Art,” which toured the United States from 1992 to 1994. He also travelled to China and Korea in 2001 as a guest artist for the World Ceramics Expo.
Baye uses terracotta clay from his family land at Te Puia Springs, and prepares it in ways that reflect his care and respect for this material.