Honohono 2021

Rimu, Pine, Privet, Totara, Tile Glue, Liquid nails, PVA glue, Cellophane and various stationary

This piece was created for Kotahitanga – United through creativity where Waikato artists are championing the fight for unity through works of art that speak powerful messages of hurt, sorrow, hope and strength. The creative works aim to spark crucial conversations against racism and fuel the narrative for kotahitanga.

Click on the Kotahitanga logo to visit the site.

My proposal

As a carver I wanted to change the basis of how carving is performed. Rather than removing “waste wood” to reveal a form already considered “whole” within a singular piece of wood, I want to merge whole pieces of various woods to create a whole. Rather than chisel away and remove, I would plane/mill/slice slithers of wood and shape them into a new form that would be light enough to be suspended. The goal being to tie the elements of Papa and her children with the elements of Rangi as it is also integral to acknowledge the complementary balance of male and female elements within all of us. This would be demonstrated in the following ways:

Light: Slithering the wood thins it out to allow varying amounts of light to come through, adding more depth and dimension to the piece that changes when placed in natural light.

Air: Carving is often masculine, chunky and heavy. I want to present the wood as a lighter sculpture, like a cloud, and all the connotations within that. 

Wood: Woods and forests are wonderful examples of symbioses. The give and take within demonstrating the epitome of a mutually beneficial environment.

Further, every group in the world ever have relied on wood or forests within their communities at some stage. Besides the main essentials of food and water, it is a material that binds us all together. A common ground as a resource, shelter, art form, or sanctuary. It has been how we express ourselves as Māori, how we have travelled, kept warm, how we house ourselves now, how we live as a community. 

Primarily though the works main concept is in the making. No wood will be thrown away as if it is less than or not required to form a beautiful whole. Every piece is necessary, every slither adding to the overall success of the whole.

Photography by Mark Hamilton 2021 https://www.markhamilton.nz/