Albert McCarthy’s work has integrity; it holds strength, mana, a spiritual presence, which shows his deep reverence for the higher powers that care for this sacred land. He uses various types of media to express such feelings and views, incorporating a sense of respect and honour to Tipuna, Whakapapa and Kaitiakitanga, (in amongst the vibrant colours that reflect his own personality).

One’s Tipuna is all that allows one to exist, the land underneath one’s feet, the forests, the mountains, one’s ancestors.

Whakapapa, meaning to place in layers, is the expression of one’s genealogy, the layers of people who have been before you, building your future. Whakapapa is also used as a metaphor for the act of Creation and for the evolution of the Universe and all living creatures within it.

Kaitiakitanga refers to guardianship, which talks of the Kaitiaki, the assistants of the gods, who nurture and guard this land, and the people who live in it, (Kaitiakitanga is the role of these guardians)

Albert integrates such aspects and ideas from Maori traditions and history into his pieces, giving them a special significance and importance to those who recognise such symbolism in Albert’s work.

Though Albert’s work contains many spiritual ideas, he also assimilates various aesthetic components to create visual effects in amongst his contemporary statements. Albert tends to add a certain vibrancy to his works, generally using bright or multiple colours. This gives the work a sense of life and energy that co-insides with the base values that Albert portrays. He uses different types of materials, including canvas, sketch paper, board, timber, aluminium, steel and stone as mediums for his work, giving each piece or series a certain uniqueness and variation.

One may find it hard to liken Albert’s work to anything specifically, since he is primarily a contemporary artist and prefers to give meaning to the things he represents rather then give meaning specifically to his work. Though his work could be considered solely related to New Zealand and Maori culture, Albert likes to think of his work as universally relevant incorporating not only Maori ideologies, but Christian ideologies as well.

Albert’s art tells stories, stories of life, of God, of respect for what is sacred, of the creation of the world.