Emma Louise Pratt Koekoea

My name is Emma Louise Pratt, I’m originally from Aotearoa New Zealand, and Koekoea, is a platform for my projects that are different to the traditional paper and canvas based work that I also do. My regular spot is: emmapratt.com

I see stories everywhere and I’ve always loved to tell them. I get inspiration from the world around me. I love to canoe on our local river in Cambridge, UK, and walk in the meadows with our dog in the spring and summer time. I also love playing the guitar and singing badly, as well as running around a tennis court. 

I’m passionate about drawing and love to share this with children in workshops. I also love learning things about different languages. Each language is a whole other universe and way of seeing our beautiful and complex world. And, I especially love visiting my home country, like a migrating bird, to get recharged with the beauty of our mountains, rivers and seashores the warmth of our people at home and our special way of seeing things – Te ahi kā – the warmth of the homefire.

The long-tailed cuckoo

Other names: koekoeā, koekoea, kohoperoa, long-tailed koel, longtailed cuckoo, long tailed cuckoo.

The long-tailed cuckoo is a summer migrant to Aotearoa New Zealand. It spends most of its time living in the forest. Because it is a cuckoo, it leaves its eggs in other bird’s nests.

This is often seen as a negative aspect of the cuckoo family, however, it can be seen in a different way. The long annual trans-oceanic migration to breed in New Zealand means that it, while it is an “outsider” bird, according to Māori traditions, it brings knowledge and wisdom with it from other shores.

The tail feathers of the Koekoea are the traditional feathers of many Taranaki tribes and sub-tribes of Aotearoa New Zealand. Members of my family have looked after some feathers gifted to our ancestor for over 100 years. It is my hope that the publications of Koekoea will always seek to bring delight, thought, and new things to their young and old readers alike, from many far away shores.